Posts From December, 2020

Can I File for Workers’ Comp If I Have Covid-19?

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected millions of people around the world. Businesses have closed, schools have gone to virtual education, and medical professionals have dealt with overcrowded hospitals and testing centers. If you have continued working at your standard job site and have been exposed to Covid-19, can you file for workers’ comp? After all, there’s a chance you wouldn’t have contracted the coronavirus if you hadn’t been at work. Because the illness is so new and rules were not written with a global pandemic in mind, the answer is, unfortunately, not so clear.

Workers’ Comp Typically Doesn’t Cover Similar Illnesses

In the past, it has been established that workers’ comp doesn’t apply to any illness or disease that is classified as being community-spread. This includes things like the common cold, the flu, and other conditions that could be spread through standard human contact. On the surface, Covid-19 does fall into this category. The argument can be made that you could come into contact with someone contagious at any location and while doing any activity, so it’s not a work-related risk. However, because of the unique circumstances of the pandemic, some employers and states do consider Covid to be an occupational condition that is covered by workers’ comp under certain conditions.

You Must Be Able to Link Your Infection to the Workplace

Like any other type of workers’ comp claim, you have to be able to directly show that you only contracted Covid because you were at work or were performing a work-related duty elsewhere. Because you may not show symptoms of Covid for several days after contracting it, it’s not always easy to know where you were exposed. In some cases, such as medical workers, first responders, and care providers, it may be easy to connect Covid to your job. In other cases, though, you may not be able to do so. In those cases, your workers’ comp claim may be denied.

The Covid-19 pandemic has already created a great amount of stress, especially in those who do have to continue working in jobs that require contact with the public. Knowing that workers’ comp is available to help with medical and other costs can be a relief. If you need assistance in filing your workers’ comp claim, Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

  • Posted on: Dec 23 2020
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Does Workers Comp Cover Mental Health?

In many cases, workers’ compensation does cover mental health issues that have arisen as a result of something that occurred at your workplace or during working hours at another location. Like physical injuries, you can make a mental health workers’ comp claim for conditions that were caused by one incident or for conditions that occurred over time.

What Mental Health Conditions Are Covered?

Any type of mental health disorder or condition may be covered by workers’ comp if you can show that there is a direct connection between your work and that condition. For example, if you are in an accident while operating heavy machinery and develop PTSD, you can file a case. You also qualify for workers’ comp if you develop depression over the course of months or years due to your working conditions. Any mental health condition that has been diagnosed by a professional medical expert and can be traced back to your employment can serve as the basis of a workers’ comp claim.

The Difficulty of Proof

However, unlike physical injuries, it is often much harder to prove that your mental health condition is the result of your work, especially when your condition occurred over a period of time. It may be obvious to connect PTSD to an event, but with anxiety or depression, it’s not always as simple to make the connection to your job. You will need to be able to show that stress, your work environment, or other conditions directly led to the mental health disorder you’re experiencing.

While you may have a mental health expert on your side, co-worker testimonials, and information on incidents and on your work environment, it can still be difficult to prove. Unfortunately, the burden of proof is on you as the claimant, so you will need to be prepared for a difficult battle. This is why it’s important to begin documenting events, visiting with a mental health expert, and talking to your employer about how to change the situation for the better.

If you do decide you need to file a workers’ comp claim for a mental health condition, don’t be too discouraged. It will likely be a hard fight, but many people do win. If you have experts like the team at Maximum Orthopedics on your side, it will be easier. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

  • Posted on: Dec 15 2020
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