We hope that this blog finds you and your family well and safe. Since practically everyone is being impacted by the Covid-19 Virus, we have seen a lot of different topics for discussion that our office believes will be helpful to address. We will be posting regularly to help to provide insight on the issues we have professional experience with. Please note that the information in this blog is not legal or medical advice and that because of the fast-moving developments in this unprecedented situation it is quite possible that some of the information that we will provide may become quickly outdated or changed due to new or pending legislation.
While our office is an experienced personal injury law firm and we are also experienced with work injuries, we have never had to consider the scale of potential work-related injuries that may be claimed as a result of the Corona-Virus. Please bear in mind that workers compensation laws and insurance vary by state and also sometimes by industry and jurisdiction. For instance, there can be different protections for rail workers, miners, or those employed by the federal government. The point: there is not one set of workers comp rules that apply to all workers nationwide.
Anyone watching the news has heard the figures of health professionals being infected by the Corona Virus. This has created a lot of speculation about what types of protection and benefits may be available to all workers believed to have been infected by the Corona Virus due to the nature of their work. While we cannot discuss all of the different nationwide laws already in place to address health care workers injured while doing their work, it is our most sincere hope that legislators pass blanket protection to ensure that every medical professional and first responder is covered for their work-related Corona Virus exposure injuries.
So, what about the rest of the workers? A definitive answer would be pure speculation at this point, but you can assume that for purposes of analysis you would have to divide workers not considered first responders or health professionals into two categories: those that are working from home and those that remain working in their work place. Based on the fact that generally work injuries have to happen “on the job” and that proving one’s injury occurred through work related activity, our assumption at this time would be that it will be unlikely that most remote workers would be able to make compensable workers comp claims should they believe that they “caught” Corona Virus while doing their remote work.
As far as what will happen with those workers that are still on the job, it remains unclear what options they may have should they become infected with this virus while they remain to work. While most of the country has effectively been shut down, there are still a considerable amount of people that are out in public doing essential work. While most of the time a worker that contracts a virus (ex: influenza) while doing their work would not have many types of protections or benefits other than work provided health insurance or sick time, it is possible that governments could enact policies to protect and assist our essential workers that may become ill with Corona Virus. We certainly hope that these important people are protected.
During this time Auger & Auger remains open as legal work is considered an essential service by our governor. We are working hard for our clients as always and our phones are always answered 24/7. Anyone that needs to speak to one of our team members about their case or a new accident or injury should please call us at 704-364-3361. We are able to conduct all of our business remotely and if a potential client should desire to hire our law firm, the whole process can be completed through phone and email. We appreciate your taking the time to visit www.AugerLaw.com and we wish you and your family good health. Please let us know if we can help you!