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Workers compHealthcare workers, COVID-19, and Workers’ Compensation

May 12, 2020

Healthcare workers, especially doctors and nurses, are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the rest of the world self-isolates and practices social distancing in an effort to protect ourselves from getting sick, the men and women who treat patients at local hospitals and clinics remain on the front lines of an outbreak that has altered our lives and prevented us from connecting with others. If a healthcare provider in the course of treating patients is exposed to and ultimately comes down with the COVID-19 coronavirus, he or she could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. 

Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Lawyers 

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with  coronavirus or were exposed working in a hospital or clinic that cares for those who are ill, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O. can help. You are likely entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits under state law. 

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Watson & Carroll are experienced in securing compensation for complicated work-related illnesses and injuries. While the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly unprecedented, complicated, and unexpected, we are ready. Our staff is working remotely, but they are available to speak to you via phone or video call. We can be reached at 402-991-2100 or via email at contact@watsoncarroll.com. You also can fill out our confidential contact form here. 

Update on COVID-19

The COVID-19 coronavirus had affected more than 1.3 million people in the United States and killed more than 79,000 as of May 11. Globally, there have been over 4.1 million cases and at least 284,000 deaths. The numbers grew considerably in mid-April alone. With quarantine orders in place throughout much of the world and extensions of those orders possible for another month, there is no telling what is going to happen next. 

Nebraska has seen nearly 8,200 cases of COVID-19 to date. Of those, 96 people have died.  In Iowa, nearly 12,000 people have been diagnosed; 265 have died. And in South Dakota, more than 3,500 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus. So far, there have been 34 deaths. 

Adding to the fear is the reality that COVID-19 could take its toll on the people fighting it the hardest. In New York City, two nurses who worked at local hospitals have died. Another 200 other healthcare providers had contracted the virus as of March 30.  

“I feel like we’re all just being sent to slaughter,” Thomas Riley, a nurse at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, told The New York Times. He contracted the virus, as did his husband.

New York, with eight million people living in close proximity to one another and thousands seeking COVID-19 treatment, is suffering. But that’s not to say it can’t or won’t happen to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota. The threat is real. 

Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 

If you are a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider diagnosed with COVID-19, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you were exposed at work. In Nebraska, non-healthcare employees who come down with COVID-19 are facing an uphill battle for getting their workers’ compensation benefits. The problem with most COVID-19 cases is that few employees can prove they caught the disease at work, especially with so many people working from home right now. 

But for doctors, nurses, and others who are trying to treat and save patients suffering from COVID-19, it’s all but certain that they are directly exposed to the virus at work. That entitles them to workers’ compensation benefits under the law, but workers’ compensation insurers that will be called on to pay the bills will likely fight because the cost of treating COVID-19 patients can be extremely high. If you’ve been diagnosed, seek legal advice today. 

Experienced Workers Comp Lawyers for Healthcare Providers 

The workers compensation lawyers at Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O. are experienced in all kinds of workers compensation claims – even unusual cases like COVID-19. Many of our workers’ comp clients initially assume their claim is impossible to win. They’ve been falsely led to believe by both their employer and the insurance company that it’s hopeless. Our workers’ compensation team, however, is skilled at going up against large employers as well as the insurance companies, doctors, nurses, and lawyers who defend their interests. 

Our founder is an attorney and a former combat nurse. He understands better than anybody the precarious situation you’re in as a doctor or nurse who is bravely putting aside your own safety to help save lives and stop the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading further. We’re here for you. 

About Watson & Carroll 

Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones– not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a workers’ compensation case to review, a personal injury claim, or fighting for your disability benefits, we fight to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld. 

Our firm can help you, especially during this critical, uncertain time of COVID-19. Call 402-991-2100 or email contact@watsoncarroll.com. You also can fill out our confidential form here. Let’s get started.

Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota

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