You are a nurse and love your job. You get to come into contact with so many patients that you truly get to know your community and the people who live there. There are hazards that come up in your job, though, and it sometimes seems thankless. You put in many hours, but the number of people who need help never seems to subside.
The news of a pandemic can make you worry that you could be exposed to a serious illness, and you’re right to be concerned. In situations like those involving the present-day Coronavirus, you may worry that exposure could lead to severe illness or death. If you need to take time off work to recover, it could be hurtful to you financially as well.
Pandemics are outbreaks of disease that affect large geographic areas. In the case of the Coronavirus, it’s believed that it could affect up to 60% of the population if it goes unchecked. Fortunately, many people, like nurses and doctors on the front line, have taken this illness seriously and quarantined many people to prevent its spread.
Still, what do you do if you end up catching this virus? Will you be able to seek compensation for the time that you are going to need to miss work?
There are two tests that your workers’ compensation provider will look at to determine if you can be compensated for contacting the illness. First, it needs to be occupational. Since you work in a hospital, it is highly likely that you would be exposed on the job, making this an occupational illness.
Second, the illness needs to happen because of conditions that are peculiar to work. This may be harder to prove, but your attorney may be able to help you argue that you would not have contacted this virus had you not been involved in work with patients who were in quarantine or requiring medical care.
Pandemics create a difficult situation for workers’ compensation providers, because they are not always covered by the benefits system. However, since you can show that you work face-to-face with people who are ill each and every day, you may have a stronger case to seek compensation for any exposure and subsequent illness from which you suffer.
Your attorney will talk you through seeking compensation if you do catch a virus while you’re working and need to seek medical care and financial support.