Delaware Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Assisting with Coronavirus Claims
Is COVID-19 covered by workers’ compensation benefits in Delaware?
The attorneys of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman have represented injured workers throughout Delaware for decades. If you have questions about collecting benefits during the COVID-19 crisis, please contact us for a remote consultation. The firm maintains offices in Wilmington, Seaford, Newark, and New Castle.
Under “normal” circumstances, if an employee develops an illness related to his or her work environment, that employee can file for workers’ compensation benefits. The coronavirus outbreak, however, is not a normal occurrence, and it has left workers and employers scrambling for what to do next.
The general feeling about collecting workers’ comp benefits related to COVID-19 is, “Well, maybe.” It has a lot to do with how the virus is classified.
Is it an infectious disease?
One of COVID-19’s deadliest traits is how easily it spreads. It is a highly contagious disease, and most states do not include infectious disease coverage in their workers’ compensation plans.
Is it an occupational disease?
On the other hand, if you develop coronavirus as a result of being at work, you may be able to make a claim for benefits. You would have to be able to prove that:
- You were exposed to the disease at work
- You developed the disease during the scope and course of your employment
- Your job put you at an increased risk of developing COVID-19
The concern with claiming occupational illness, however, is that these types of diseases often take years to manifest. COVID-19, on the other hand, can be transmitted by a single point of contact, and can develop within 2 to 14 days.
Which workers are at greatest risk of coronavirus infection in Delaware?
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) says the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions are at the greatest risk if they contract the virus. However, the groups at greatest risk of contracting the virus are our “essential” workers: men and women whose jobs are considered too valuable and important to allow them to stay home. They include:
- Healthcare workers, including dentists, EMTs, home health aides, nursing home employees, and hospital workers
- Law enforcement, fire fighters, and other first responders
- Retail workers
- Food service workers
- Delivery workers
- Warehouse workers
- Construction workers
- Sanitation workers
- Mass transit workers
How can a Delaware workers’ compensation lawyer help me if I get coronavirus?
The attorneys of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman can review your claim if you developed coronavirus while in the course of your employment. Because there are no specific laws governing how workers’ compensation benefits are to be addressed for COVID-19 patients, seeking legal counsel is probably your best chance at ensuring you have a strong claim. Our Delaware workers’ comp lawyers have been doing this for a long time; we know what helps bolster a claim, and how to present your case in the best possible light. We can also ensure that your documentation is complete and accurate, and that it will get where it needs to be.
Please note: At this time, Delaware’s courts are closed to the public, and will be until at least May 14, 2020. Our attorneys are continuing to work on cases, however, so that we are prepared to move forward once the courts are fully operational again.
Delaware’s workers’ compensation attorneys helping workers with coronavirus claims
At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Delaware workers’ compensation lawyers are keeping up-to-date with news and regulatory changes for coronavirus claims. If you developed COVID-19 during the course of your employment, we may be able to help. Call us at 302.888.2900 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free remote consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Newark, New Castle, and Seaford.