The worldwide spread of Covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus that emerged this winter, is stressful and disruptive for everyone. We’ve all been called upon to take precautions, may be fearful for our own health or for vulnerable loved ones, and may be experiencing financial stress and a sense of isolation since the Ohio Department of Public Health issued a stay at home order in late March.
Still, no one has been more impacted than healthcare workers and first responders around the country. As doctors, nurses, hospital staff, EMTs, ambulance drivers and others put in long hours caring for those who are most seriously ill, their own health is at risk. That’s always true when working with patients suffering from contagious diseases, especially when the virus in question is newly discovered and we don’t have complete information about transmission and how best to protect ourselves. The risks are further aggravated for healthcare workers in Ohio and around the country, as many are working without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
As of the morning of April 1, there are 2,199 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the state of Ohio. Though exact counts aren’t available, reports indicate that more than ¼ of those–more than 500 cases–involve healthcare workers.
In areas further along the curve, numbers are even worse. Thousands of doctors in China were infected, and more than 200 staff members at a single New York hospital have contracted the virus. We’ve begun to see fatalities among doctors and nurses. And 69 Detroit police officers have tested positive for coronavirus, while hundreds of others remain in quarantine.
Of course, these heroes who are on the front lines have the same needs and challenges as any of us. When they fall ill, they need health care–sometimes extremely expensive healthcare. They have bills to pay and families to support, even when they aren’t able to work. That’s where workers’ compensation comes in – and where Plevin & Gallucci wants to help.
Covid-19 and Ohio Workers’ Compensation
Usually, communicable diseases don’t qualify a person for Ohio workers’ compensation benefits. That’s because most of us are exposed to this type of illness in many different ways. There is usually no special risk associated with the workplace and it is generally difficult or impossible to know where and how a person picked up a flu bug or other illness. However, when your job involves “a special hazard or risk” of contracting Covid-19 and you become ill from exposure at work, you may be able to secure workers’ compensation benefits.
Possible benefits include both medical care and replacement income during the time you are unable to work. Additional or alternative benefits may be available in the case of permanent injury, ongoing disability, or death.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims aren’t always straightforward, and infectious disease claims can be particularly complicated. The attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci are very aware of the sacrifice our healthcare workers, emergency responders, law enforcement and public safety workers are making to help the rest of us remain as safe and healthy as possible during this extremely difficult time. We want to ensure that those who do become infected with the virus as a result of their selfless service have access to the benefits they deserve. And we want to make that process as stress-free as possible.
That’s why we’re waiving our fees for 2020 for any workers’ compensation claims filed on behalf of healthcare workers and first responders who contract Covid-19 on the job.
Free Representation in 2020 for Healthcare Workers and First Responders
Frontline workers who put themselves at risk to protect us deserve protection, too. We don’t have their expertise and we can’t help treat sick people, develop a vaccine, or find the right combination of drugs to reduce symptoms and minimize the risk of death. But we know how to fight for workers who have suffered injuries and contracted occupational illnesses. So we’re putting those skills to work to help take care of the people who are taking care of the rest of us.
For the remainder of 2020, the attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci have committed to handling workers’ compensation claims for healthcare workers and first responders who become infected with Covid-19 at no charge. You can read our full press release on this development here.
If you’re in one of these industries and need help filing a coronavirus-related workers’ compensation claim, contact us at Covid@pglawyer.com or call 888-684-0804 to learn more about how we can help. And thank you for your service.