Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for COVID-19 in NJ
Our workers’ compensation lawyers for COVID-19 in New Jersey are here to ensure your legal rights and get you the compensation you need and deserve. If you have been exposed to the coronavirus or contracted COVID-19 at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits can include lost wages, medical expenses, and even temporary or permanent partial or total disability payments if you are suffering a severe case of COVID-19 or lasting chronic effects from the coronavirus.
The Law Offices of Craig A. Altman have been representing injured workers in New Jersey for over thirty years, with proven results. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve. We don’t get paid unless you do, so call us at tel8563278899 to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
What Happens if I am Exposed to COVID-19 at Work?
In NJ, essential workers have been on the job throughout the pandemic. Many of them have been exposed to the coronavirus as part of their duties. These include:
- Medical personnel, including doctors, nurses, EMTs
- Medical support personnel, including orderlies, medical facility administration and other non-medical staff, and transport personnel
- Emergency responders, such as police, firefighters, ambulance and First Aid personnel
- Pharmacists and pharmacy employees
Other essential personnel on the job throughout this crisis and potentially exposed to the coronavirus by coworkers and customers include:
- Grocery store workers
- Restaurant workers where delivery, take-out, and outdoor dining is available
- Gas station attendants
- Certain warehouse workers
- Truck drivers
If anyone working before the stay-at-home order, including essential workers or any workers now returning to work, contract COVID-19 from exposure to the coronavirus at work, that worker will have a workers’ compensation claim.
What to Do if You Believe You Contracted COVID-19 at Work
If you believe you contracted COVID-19 at work, inform your employer and call your doctor before arranging to visit them. You will likely be required to stay at home and quarantine for 14 days and be tested for coronavirus antibodies.
Be sure to document everything related to your illness, your medical treatment, your work situation, and call an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney for a case evaluation. We can help you show that it was more likely than not that you contracted COVID-19 at work, and help you get your benefits.
Can COVID-19 Be Considered an Occupational Disease in NJ?
Although this is a new and rapidly-developing area of workers’ compensation law in NJ, it seems that COVID-19 will be treated as an occupational disease, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, mesothelioma, hearing loss, or lead poisoning. It will probably not be treated as an acute injury from an accident or fall.
The difference is that an occupational disease often warrants longer periods of medical treatment and rehabilitation, more time out of work, and perhaps assignment to light duties if it is possible for you to work at all. Many occupational diseases result in partial or total temporary or permanent disability, which also can be compensated through workers’ compensation in NJ.
The Long-Term Effects of Contracting COVID-19
We anticipate that many workers who contract COVID-19 will suffer long-lasting ill effects, such as:
- chronic fatigue
- shortness of breath
- pain when breathing
- persistent dry cough
- muscle pain
- respiratory problems
- cardiac problems, such as inflammation of the heart and muscle lining
- kidney problems
- risk of blood clot leading to stroke or heart attack
If you are suffering one or more of these symptoms due to contracting COVID-19 at work, you can be compensated for lost wages, medical expenses, and partial temporary or permanent disability in New Jersey.
Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation for COVID-19 in New Jersey?
Yes, and you should, sooner rather than later. Benefits can kick in in as little as three weeks, keeping you afloat financially and helping you recover from the illness.
The Process for Workers Compensation in NJ
First, inform your employer that you believe you were exposed to the coronavirus at work. If a coworker had COVID-19 and went to work, your employer should have informed you. You will likely be required to stay home and quarantine for 14 days and be tested for the coronavirus.
Next, seek medical attention but do not show up at the hospital or doctor’s office without calling first. There are protocols that must be followed when a potentially infectious COVID-19 patient arrives.
Once you are tested, you will find out whether you have contracted COVID-19 or not. If not, you may be able to return to work. If so, and you have symptoms of the illness, you will remain under medical care. Many carriers of the coronavirus are asymptomatic, but they still must quarantine to prevent infecting others.
Your employer will require you to complete some paperwork for the insurance company and provide copies of any medical records generated by your treatment and testing for COVID-19. Usually, the insurance company will respond to your claim within two weeks. Failing to respond within 30 days is considered unreasonable. Contact an attorney immediately if this happens to you.
Your NJ Workers’ Compensation Attorney for COVID-19
We have helped thousands of injured workers get their workers’ compensation benefits in NJ. Workers’ compensation law regarding COVID-19 is evolving in New Jersey, and we are on the cutting edge, taking advantage of every development for our clients. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us for your free consultation.