When the pandemic started last April, businesses were gearing up for a potential landslide of COVID-19-related workplace injury suits, especially for those workers who were deemed “essential” (grocery store employees, bank tellers, production help, etc.)
However, due to a variety of factors, many of those cases are being funneled into the workers’ compensation system instead of the litigation process, as a recent Wall Street Journal story points out.
Why COVID-19 Suits Are Being Funneled Into Workers’ Compensation
In short, existing workplace laws don’t leave many options for workers who contract COVID-19 as there isn’t much true precedent for this type of pandemic sickness and the majority of workplace lawsuits have been brought by prisoners in confined spaces and a smattering of civil-rights-related complaints. What this equals is that more realistic workplace sickness and injury claims are being sent to workers’ compensation as a result.
How Government Action May Change This
The recent second stimulus package did not include legal protections for businesses against lawsuits from workers who may have contracted COVID-19 on the job. It means that there may still be a wave of lawsuits coming from workers who are waiting for more substantiated evidence for their claims, but for now, their most realistic option is to file a claim with workers’ compensation.
Having the Right Workers’ Compensation Attorney is Key
As the pandemic and its fallout continue to evolve, there are undoubtedly going to be more challenges for those filing workers’ compensation claims related to virus exposure. In many cases, these claims will require more paperwork and process, which can be especially difficult while working towards recovery. The rules are changing rapidly and with more government action potentially on the way, the situation is fluid. It’s absolutely vital to have a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney on your side who can advocate on your behalf.
Workers in northern Alabama trust Bevill & Bevill, LLC as their go-to source for professional workers’ compensation representation. Call 205-221-4646 today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.