INJURIES CAUSED BY COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has uprooted our entire society. This disease has led to unprecedented job loss, economic hardship, and illness for millions of people worldwide. In California tens of thousands have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and many have died. Despite the stay-at-home orders in place, many “essential workers” are forced to expose themselves to this disease on a daily basis.
Many “essential workers” such as medical workers (doctors, nurses, first responders), police officers, grocery store employees, pharmacy employees, distribution center/warehouse workers, postal and package carriers, retail workers, truck drivers and many, many others risk exposure to the disease, and may become sick or injured as a result. If you have sustained injury while working during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, you may qualify for California Workers Compensation benefits if you have.
In California, employees can qualify for workers compensation benefits if they are injured while performing their job. This may include PHYSICAL INJURIES, PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES, AND DEATH.
Have you been laid off due to COVID-19? Are you suffering from stress or anxiety due to working the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you worried about working in an unsafe environment? You may be entitled to California Workers Compensation benefits.
California Labor Code § 3208.3 discusses the requirements for a compensable psychiatric claim, which include:
- Employed for 6 months*: The employee must have been employed with the employer for at least 6 months, UNLESS the psychiatric injury is caused by a sudden and extraordinary employment condition. (6 months does not have to be continuous)
- Work Caused the Injury: The actual events of employment are the predominant (51%) cause of the psychiatric injury
- Not Caused by Good Faith Work Action: The psychiatric condition was not caused by good faith, non-discriminatory personnel actions by the employer (e.g., criticism of work, etc.)
- Mental Disorder diagnosed: the condition is diagnosed using the terminology and criteria of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Third Edition-Revised
Can I File a Stress Claim After Being Laid Off?
Yes, if the actual events of employment are the predominant (51%) cause of the psychiatric injury and any of the following exist:
(2) The employer has notice of the psychiatric injury prior to the notice of termination or layoff.
(3) The employee’s medical records existing prior to notice of termination or layoff contain evidence of treatment of the psychiatric injury.
(4) Upon a finding of sexual or racial harassment by any trier of fact, whether contractual, administrative, regulatory, or judicial.
(5) Evidence that the date of injury is subsequent to the date of the notice of termination or layoff, but prior to the effective date of the termination or layoff.
We believe the COVID-19 (CORONA VIRUS) pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime sudden and extraordinary event!
Can I File A Stress/Psychological Injury Only Claim?
Yes, a psychological injury does not have to be combined with a physical injury to be considered a valid claim.
Can I File Both A Stress/Psychological Injury AND Physical Injury Claim?
Yes. Often times stress, anxiety and other psychological disorders and injuries are accompanied by physical injuries or symptoms such as hypertension (high blood pressure) or heart-related issues.
COVID-19 DEATH CLAIMS
Has your loved died as a result of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)?
If a worker dies from a work-related injury or illness, the employee’s spouse, children or other dependents may be entitled to Workers Compensation benefits.
If a loved one has died from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and was infected during their job, you may be entitled to the following:
- $10,000 in burial expenses
- $250,000 if 1 dependent
- $290,000 if 2 or more dependents
- $320,000 if 3 or more dependents
- $250,000 + 4x annual support for 1 total and 1 or more partial dependents (not to
- 8x annual support (not to exceed $250,000) if 1 or more partial dependent
PHYSICAL INJURY CLAIMS
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus), have been hospitalized, sustained permanent injuries (such as lung scarring), or have to take time off from work due to the Coronavirus, contact our office to help you get your rightful legal benefits. Do not delay!
Do Immigrant Workers Qualify For California Workers Compensation Benefits If They Were Exposed To Or Contracted COVID-19 On The Job?
YES! California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara recently announced that California law requires the payment of workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers regardless of their immigration status.
There is absolutely no reason to delay. As always, our CONSULTATIONS ARE FREE!