How workers’ compensation is being impacted by COVID-19

The coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused mass disruption throughout the US. With close to 200,000 cases in the country, and tens of thousands more expected, there’s chaos throughout the country.

One area where disruption has occurred is with workers’ compensation. Employers should expect a string of cases as coronavirus continues to disrupt businesses across the country.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C., a law firm named as one of the best workplaces in America, say that employers are failing to appreciate the true extent of the difficulties that come with coronavirus and workers compensation.

Trethowans
Trethowans

Can a communicable disease be grounds for legal action?

At the uppermost level, many are questioning whether employers can be held liable if their employees contract coronavirus. Do employees have the right to claim compensation if they contract the disease at work?

Legal experts say this is an extremely difficult case to prove because there’s no way to check whether someone actually contracted the virus at work. There are also questions about whether employers are liable for a communicable disease.

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C. say there are potential workers compensation cases if a company keeps its business open without providing proper protection for their employees, such as socially distanced workstations.

These will be questions answered by the courts on a case-by-case basis in the coming months and years.

Costs are expected to rise

Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C. say that workers’ compensation cases typically rise in monetary value the longer they go on.

This could create a significant challenge for employers during the days of coronavirus. For a start, hospital treatment will suffer significant delays due to frontline staff focusing primarily on coronavirus cases.

That will apply to minor injuries and elective surgeries, with many of the latter being canceled for the next few months.

Costs are also expected to rise as employers downsize their workforces and it may take months before many businesses can reopen their doors at all.

Plus, many states have already closed their courts, thus putting the majority of cases on hold.

A decline in cases expected

New worker’s compensation cases, on the other hand, are expected to decline. With the majority of American businesses expected to close, the number of accidents and rightful claims is simply going to be down.

Worker’s compensation claims are expected to hit historical lows by the end of 2020, especially as lockdowns and stay at home orders extend for months.

What should workers do about workers’ compensation attorneys?

The legal industry recommends you continue to contact your attorney. Although many of them have closed their offices, they’re still working from home. When contacting New Jersey’s workers compensation attorneys, you should be aware that it may take some time to actually file your case and see it through to its conclusion.

A professional attorney, though, will continue to push your case forward when the courts open again and normal life resumes.

What’s important is that you don’t allow your case to fall into the cracks. If you want to get justice, it’s important to still file your case.

Photo by dylan nolte