Workers’ compensation is an important tool for those injured while at work or while doing things related to work in Massachusetts. And while many people think about physical ailments like broken bones when they consider workers’ compensation claims, it’s also possible to file a claim for a more nebulous issue like illness. That’s an especially important aspect to keep in mind as COVID-19 continues to infect thousands and potentially cause them considerable grief. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Massachusetts can help determine if your situation is covered.
Where you exposed at work?
If you were exposed to the virus at work, then workers’ compensation might very well cover expenses related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Note that this is true even if your employer didn’t realize the virus was an issue or wasn’t directly responsible for the infection. That’s because workers’ compensation runs on a “no-fault” system that allows workers to receive compensation for injuries incurred on the job even if their employers can’t be held completely responsible. A Massachusetts injury attorney can help you understand your rights.
Where you exposed while acting within the scope of your job?
Not being exposed while at the office doesn’t mean that workers’ compensation won’t cover your expenses related to COVID-19. If you were acting within the scope of your job when you were infected, then you might very well be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Working “within the scope of your job” might be a new term, but it’s a fairly straightforward concept. If you were exposed to the novel coronavirus while doing something related to work, then the illness might be covered. This includes things like traveling to work, meeting with a client, and stopping at the store for work supplies. While perhaps none of the aforementioned things happened at your office itself, they were tasks performed for your job.
For more clarification about this factor and what it means for your claim, reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Was your employer negligent?
Another factor to keep in mind when considering whether workers’ compensation will cover your COVID-19 case is whether your employer was negligent. We’ve already established that the system is a no-fault one that will cover workers’ expenses even when their employers are not directly at fault. If your employer is directly at fault, however, and their actions are considered “gross negligence”, then it might be possible to move beyond a worker’s compensation claim and file a lawsuit. You may have a case if you cannot work, or worse became injected and can prove that the non-essential business you worked for had knowledge of the State’s Governor Charlie Bakers emergency order and failed to comply.
Are you interested in learning more about how to move forward with your case? Reach out to experienced workers’ compensation attorney Todd D. Beauregard, PC, today!