COVID-19 And Workers’ Compensation In New Jersey
Although more and more people are returning to work, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still out there. First responders, delivery drivers, and workers in nursing homes, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, and other industries that require working closely with the public are particularly at risk of catching the coronavirus.
If you’re suffering from COVID-19 and believe that you caught it at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. At Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman, our experienced workers’ comp lawyers can help you navigate the process and help you understand your rights as a worker with a job-related illness.
Why You Should Hire A Lawyer for Your COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claim
When you suffer from a work-related illness in New Jersey, your employer is required by law to provide workers’ comp benefits to pay for your medical bills, a portion of wage loss, and other benefits. However, not all workers’ comp cases are straightforward, especially those involving COVID-19 infection. It can be challenging to prove that you contracted COVID-19 at work, as you may have been exposed to it in other places, such as the supermarket or even at home if a family member is sick.
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you must provide evidence that you were exposed to a specific illness in the workplace or in the scope of your employment, which is a challenging burden of proof to meet. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can determine if you’re eligible for benefits and how to prove that you contracted the virus at work. If you’re not eligible for workers’ compensation, other resources may be available, such as applying for New Jersey Earned Sick Leave, unemployment, and other benefits available through State and Federal COVID-19 legislation.
What Steps Should You Take If You Believe You Caught COVID-19 At Work
If you’re having symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Inform your employer of your illness and make a list of everyone you’ve been in contact with at work. Seeing a doctor can give you access to testing and help you get the vital care you need. Seeking treatment early can help you avoid serious complications.
Medical records are crucial evidence in any workers’ comp claim, so the sooner you see a physician, the better. Although medical reports can be relevant documentation that can help prove your case, a COVID-19 diagnosis doesn’t automatically make you eligible for workers’ compensation.
If you’re a first responder, a worker in a medical facility, or an essential worker, obtaining workers’ comp benefits for COVID-19 may be easier since there’s an assumption of risk that you’ll be exposed to the virus at work.
Collect Vital Evidence
Because you may have been exposed to COVID-19 somewhere else, it’s essential to gather evidence that shows you were exposed to it in the course of your employment. Depending on the type of work you do, relevant evidence may include documentation that shows other employees got sick from COVID-19, such as emails, memos, workplace photos, delivery logs, work-related travel reservations, and event attendance and meeting records. Make sure to include your company’s sick leave policies and any COVID-19 related communications you received from fellow employees, supervisors, managers, or your employer.
Act Fast to Protect Your Rights and Your Health
With ever-changing information about COVID-19 and proper safety protocols, it can be frustrating to figure out how to prove you contracted it at work. Much is still unknown about COVID-19 and its long-term effects. If you have significant lung damage or other chronic conditions that resulted from your exposure to COVID-19 at work, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.
Our workers’ comp lawyers can determine which laws and rules apply to your case, help you collect evidence, and fight for your rights as an injured worker. Our attorneys have helped clients in Jersey City, Kinnelon, Jefferson, Vernon, West Milford, Newfoundland, and throughout the state of New Jersey get the workers’ comp benefits they deserve to protect their health and preserve their financial security.
Contact A Jersey City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is ill with COVID-19 and believe you contracted the virus at work, our workers’ comp lawyers at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman can evaluate your case and advise on how to proceed. Contact us online or call us at 201-798-2711 in Jersey City or 973-874-0556 in Newfoundland, NJ. To speak with someone right away, you can also access the chat feature on our website.
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