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Can employees sue for Covid-19?


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    Employees may sue employers for negligence related to Covid-19. Employers must take reasonable precautions to protect their employees, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (first page of the OSHA report). Exposing employees to Covid-19 may violate the employer’s duty of care.

    When an Employee Tests Positive for Covid-19

    Should an employer suspect or know that an employee has Covid-19, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that the employer should:

    • Close off areas occupied by the employee for a reasonable period of time
    • Wait 24 hours and then clean and disinfect the work area
    • Open doors and windows in areas that the sick employee occupied
    • Follow CDC guidelines as it relates to continuous cleaning and disinfecting

    These may not be the only steps an employer should take to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. In a more general sense, an employer should:

    • Be vigilant to employees’ observable health status
    • Take no risks in sending sick employees home
    • Foster a culture where sick employees are treated with empathy
    • Provide reasonable compensation so that employees feel comfortable taking sick leave 

    Failing to do this could qualify as employer negligence. This negligence could entitle you to compensation if you or a loved one contracted Covid-19.

    Employer May Have Prevented the Spread of Covid-19

    The response to a sick employee is just one aspect of Covid-19 safety. Your employer may also need to take precautionary measures. 

    Those measures can include:

    • Encouraging or requiring employees to wear facemasks
    • Providing facemasks
    • Re-orienting and office space to accommodate social distancing
    • Providing ample sanitizer, soap, and other sanitary products
    • Implementing disciplinary measures for employees who violate in-office Covid-19 protocols

    An employer could be negligent for failing to protect you against Covid-19 infection.

    Options do you Have for Seeking Covid-19 Compensation

    Workers’ compensation is generally the first path for seeking compensation from an employer. Workers’ compensation insurance generally protects employers from lawsuits.

    Some circumstances may allow you to file a lawsuit. This can include wrongful death or cases where an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance.

    Types of Worker’s Compensation May you Receive in Covid-19

    The types of compensation you can obtain depends on whether you bring a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit. Workers’ compensation generally covers:

    • A portion of lost wages
    • Medical expenses
    • Benefits for a disability
    • Death benefits

    Compensation from a lawsuit may be broader. A lawsuit may result in coverage for:

    • Full lost wages
    • Medical costs
    • Pain and suffering
    • Loss of earning power
    • Disability-related costs
    • The loss of a loved one’s income
    • The loss of a loved one’s comfort and companionship
    • Funeral expenses
    • Other wrongful death-related losses

    One of our Fort Lauderdale worker’s compensation lawyers will discuss with you which legal approach makes sense. They will then explain which forms of compensation you are entitled to.

    A lawyer with our firm Can Help with Your COVID-19 Claim or Lawsuit

    One of our Fort Myers worker’s compensation lawyers can deal with a workers’ compensation claim, wrongful death lawsuit, or personal injury lawsuit. They will take the following steps for you:

    Identifying employer negligence

    Your lawyer will identify:

    • How your employer increased your risk of contracting Covid-19
    • Where the employer’s actions broke from best safety practices
    • Whether any other parties aside from your employer put you at risk

    This process will determine who is liable for your losses. Your lawyer will then review the state of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. They will then recommend either a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.

    As part of the claims or legal process, your lawyer may:

    • Speak with your co-workers
    • Secure evidence like videos and photographs of your workplace
    • Obtain documentation of your Covid-19 diagnosis
    • Assign a dollar value to your losses
    • Project your future losses

    Your lawyer will do all of this with one goal in mind. That is to secure compensation for you or a loved one.

    Who may owe you compensation for Covid-19-related negligence?

    Multiple parties may owe you compensation. These parties may include:

    • An immediate superior
    • The organization that employs you
    • Parent organizations of your direct employer
    • Any individuals who put you at risk of contracting Covid-19

    Our team seeks maximum compensation from all liable parties.

    Why we generally pursue settlements

    We will try to have liable parties volunteer compensation. This generally means negotiating a settlement. 

    Settlements are preferable because:

    • They allow all parties to a claim or lawsuit to reach an acceptable financial outcome
    • They generally provide fair compensation for you 
    • They may take less time than a trial

    The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that most civil cases result in a settlement, not a trial. Suing your employer for negligence may end with a settlement. We may also complete a workers’ compensation claim with a financial settlement.

    Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato to take the next steps

    We represent victims like you for no upfront fee. We do not get paid for our services unless we win compensation for you. 

    Call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato today at (954) 633-8270 for a free case evaluation.

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