The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the global population in many ways. During this time of uncertainty, it is imperative that you know your legal rights. Whether you are an employee, employer, or running a business, you may face many legal challenges in the upcoming days. That is why it is more important than ever to know your rights and to obtain detailed information on injuries sustained while working (workers’ compensation), employee rights, nursing home neglect, medical malpractice, updates on legislation regarding COVID-19, and more.
This article will address many common concerns that are related to the containment and prevention of COVID-19. Throughout this post, we will discuss negligence cases, wrongful death, and worker’s compensation. We will also answer several of the frequently asked questions that we have received regarding the coronavirus and your legal rights.
Common concerns and issues:
- Negligence cases
Some employees may believe that they have contracted COVID-19, or are experiencing other health issues, due to negligence, insufficient care, or lack of attention from an employer or institution. When this occurs, the employee may be entitled to take legal action and receive compensation for the employer’s negligence. However, there must be proof of causation for the employee to receive compensation. A qualified personal injury lawyer can assist you in undertaking an investigation to determine if your legal rights have been violated and if monetary compensation is warranted.
In addition, employers may be brought to court for negligence via a class action lawsuit. A class action lawsuit enables multiple people affected by the same company to step forward and receive compensation in one single class action lawsuit.
Another situation is when a person has contracted COVID-19 in a nursing home due to lack of adequate care. If this occurs, you or your loved one, may be entitled to present a claim or file a lawsuit against the owner of the nursing home.
- Wrongful death
The death toll of COVID-19 in the United States is increasing dramatically, leading to devastating results. If you believe that someone you know has died from COVID-19 due to an employer’s negligent or reckless behavior, you should contact an attorney immediately. The negligent company can be held accountable for a wrongful death. For example, a case may be filed when any business has failed to provide adequate safety measures which results in the death of an employee. A claim can also be made if an employer fails to account for an employee’s health condition, leading to his or her untimely death. If you believe there has been a wrongful death caused by a loved one’s employer, do not hesitate to call an attorney for a free consultation to discuss your concerns.
- Workers compensation
If you have been infected due to exposure and can no longer work, you may be eligible for worker’s compensation. COVID-19 may be considered an occupational disease, depending on specific conditions.
Employees should also be aware of the protections under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act. The protections include paid sick and medical leave to relieve financial strain due to COVID-19.
There are many more issues and rights that have not been covered in this article. If you have any questions, you should immediately contact a reputable attorney in your area who can guide you on legal issues concerned with COVID-19.
How can I pay for an attorney while I am out of work?
Cases such as Workers’ Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Nursing Home Neglect, Automobile Accidents, Slip and Falls, and other Personal Injury claims are often handled on what is called a contingency fee. This means that you do not have to pay any money up front to your attorney. Your attorney is paid when he or she recovers money for you. This process will be explained to you during your free consultation.
Common FAQs about COVID-19 and related legal concerns:
- Is Workers’ Compensation available if I am working remotely from home?
There are circumstances under which an injury sustained while working remotely at the direction and control of your employer will result in a potential workers’ compensation claim. Employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees from injuries and illnesses sustained while at work. This is regardless of your physical location while you are performing services for your employer. While these are examined by the Court on a case by case basis, you should contact a qualified Workers’ Compensation attorney to discuss your particular situation.
- Could my loss due to COVID-19 be covered by workers’ compensation?
Yes, if you got infected while performing your job roles and responsibilities. You will need to show enough evidence to prove that you were exposed to COVID-19 during office hours. The job roles of essential workers such as nurses and retail workers carry more risk than jobs that may be done from home—if you are an essential worker, make sure you are aware of your rights.
- I think I got infected from a co-worker during office hours. What should I do?
If you think this is the case, you must inform your employer right away. You should also contact a qualified attorney to determine if you are entitled to compensation.
- What is the CARES act?
The CARES Act stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This Act is intended to help individuals, businesses, employers, employees, student loan borrowers, and many individuals/ families who are facing loss due to COVID-19.
If you are facing difficulty in this crisis, know that you are not in it alone. Make sure you are taking all the safety measures suggested by the government to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are concerned about legal issues rights related to COVID-19, you should seek legal help and contact a qualified lawyer for a free legal consultation.