Workers’ Compensation Claims Pertaining To The Coronavirus

 Friday, March 20, 2020

 Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C.

The chances of contracting the Coronavirus (also called “COVID-19”) are slim, but the number of those infected is increasing daily. It is only a matter of time before a worker contracts COVID-19 through their place of employment (i.e., a doctor, emergency responder, etc.).

After a worker exposed to the Coronavirus contracts the disease, there could be grounds for a valid a workers’ compensation claim for an industrial injury. The repercussions are mind-boggling.

How does a health insurer prepare for potential claims when so much about COVID-19 is still unknown, including how it is spread?

The workers’ compensation claim will start in the typical fashion, with the applicant still proving the injury arose out of and occurred in the course of employment as required under L.C. 3600. However, an applicant may be required to meet a different burden of proof like the one required when proving a Valley Fever claim.

It is unclear whether the courts would follow this approach, however it would be a very good guide for them to follow.
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