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Can I Cash In On Workers' Compensation If I Got Sick At Work?

May 7, 2020

Typically people think of workers' compensation for outright injuries. Cuts, broken bones, twisted ankles, and rotary cuff injuries are all common workers' comp claims. But what happens when you go to work healthy and come home sick? If you had stayed home, you wouldn't have gotten sick. Maybe, if you had more soap or gloves available, you wouldn't have gotten sick.

Perhaps the culture or standard operating procedures in your work environment led to you getting sick. There are many struggles people experience when applying for workers' compensation for anything other than an injury.

Non-Essential Workers Still In Business

Are you technically non-essential, but your boss demands that you keep going into work? We hear reports of this all across the nation as governors, and other officials urge business owners to close their doors.

The obvious question is, "What about the essential workers?" The follow-up question is, "What am I still told to go into work?"

When you have someone going into work to say, cut hair, or run a register in a clothing store, that person is clearly at risk for a rather contagious virus. Now, it's not likely that you'll get workers' compensation for contracting COVID-19, as you would have to prove that you didn't get it from anywhere else.

However, there are numerous ways to come into contact with an illness that would otherwise be avoidable. It's possible that in some situations, can you apply for workers' compensation when your illness directly links to your employer.

Keeping Up With the Demands for Personal Hygiene

Does your employer stock antibacterial hand soap? Do they pay for a cleaning service or have maintenance staff that complete cleaning work? Is there something more that they should have done to prevent you from getting sick?

Most of the illnesses that get workers' compensation claims include conditions from the work-environment. Miner's lung, exposure to particular chemicals, and cancers developed through continued exposure. Those are the types of issues that link the workers' compensation and illness.

What Duty of Care Does Your Employer Owe You?

Your employer must give you a safe and secure environment for you. That means providing the right safety equipment and ensuring that all risks are avoided or reduced. For the employees who work in a high-risk environment such as tuberculosis, mesothelioma, and even COPD.

COPD and similar illnesses are often avoidable when you have the right equipment and protective gear. That said, many people contract occupational illnesses every year. Typically any case that includes an employer-related illness, you'll need to show a high-volume of information.

When you have a death, the loss of consciousness, time spent off work, and medical treatment, then you need legal help. An occupational illness will likely receive a lot of battle on any claim. These cases progress quickly in terms of financial compensation because of the high demands of medical treatment.

Treatment for respiratory disease, hospital stays, and at-home care is not cheap. If anything, this will quickly bankrupt a financially sound family. However, you can go through your employer's workers' compensation insurance policy. You will need to know when you need to start your investigation and what information to provide. An attorney for workers' comp claims can help.

Is There An Environment of "Work When You're Sick?"

All too often, people work when they're sick for reasons beyond their health. For example, it's well-known through certain industries that showing up is half the struggle of getting ahead. That means that some companies foster an environment that promotes people coming to work sick.

So what happens when you get a serious illness that lands you in the hospital because your work expected you to show up? With COVID-19, many people realize that people showing up to work sick is not beneficial for anyone, regardless of the need to advance.

Find Your Local Ohio Workers' Compensation Attorney

Should you contact an attorney and try to go through the workers' compensation process? Many cases call for legal help and guidance. If you developed a serious condition from your work environment or caught something utterly avoidable, then you should consider submitting a claim. Getting in touch with your local workers' comp attorney will be the starting point. How can you go through and move forward? The answer is legal guidance.

Contact Young, Reverman, and Mazzei for support and help in each face of workers' compensation. We'll help you submit the proper information to your employer's insurance, then follow up and even go through to an ALJ if it's necessary. Call today and schedule a free consultation.

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