While going back to work for some is a must as their funds have been completely depleted, others worry that there is still the potential they could contract the virus that has already claimed 62,000 lives in the U.S. alone. Despite which side of the fence a person might be on, many are having to get back into the work field so they can generate some income. Now, because the COVID-19 virus is still a threat, it is extremely important for employers who choose to open to ensure they are abiding by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards.
One of the standards employers are required to abide by is that they must “provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” To meet this standard, OSHA is suggesting that employers follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines which include “instructing employees to keep six feet away from co-workers or customers, taking temperatures, disinfecting surfaces, and providing face masks, hand sanitizers and barriers when appropriate” [Source: USA Today].
So, what happens if a worker in Miami contracts COVID-19 from their place of employment?
In the event a worker contracts COVID-19 from work, they may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer if they are seeking medical coverage and financial support while they recover. However, getting your workers’ comp claim approved might be difficult to do. You see, in order for a workers’ compensation insurer to approve a claim, you must, (1) need to be eligible for benefits, and (2) you must be able to prove you contracted the virus while at work.
Now, according to John Ruser, who is the CEO of the Workers Compensation Research Institute, “The burden of proof would be pretty heavy for [an employee] to show that it was work-related.” Because insurers are aware that the virus could be contracted anywhere (i.e. grocery stores, nail salons, etc.), they may make it more difficult for workers to obtain the benefits they are rightfully due. With that in mind, if you contracted COVID-19 while at work and want to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, your best bet is to let one of the Miami, FL workers’ compensation lawyers at Mario Trespalacios P.A. assist you with the claims process.
The insurance industry is being bombarded with all types of claims as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak so you can expect that insurers are going to try and avoid paying out on as many claims as possible. To reduce the chances of having your workers’ claim denied, you are going to want to have a reputable workers’ comp lawyer in Miami, FL representing you from the start.
Mario Trespalacios P.A. can be contacted at:
9495 SW 72 Street, Suite B-275
Miami, FL 33173