S.C Legislators Continue to Push for Greater Workers’ Compensation Protections for Healthcare Workers and Essential Employees Who Contract COVID-19
New reporting suggests that addressing the coronavirus in South Carolina and other states in the South could be difficult as states move to lift restrictions on movement and businesses. The South was already considered a risk area for the coronavirus due to large numbers of uninsured people, high poverty rates, lower wages, and limited public health resources in rural areas, and the easing of coronavirus restrictions is expected to exacerbate those weaknesses. The reporting also notes that coronavirus deaths have disproportionately impacted African-Americans, and a large percentage of the African-Americans in the United States live in the South.
On April 29, the State newspaper reported that the death toll from COVID-19 in South Carolina exceeded 200 people and the total number of confirmed cases rose to 5,881. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) estimates that the actual number of coronavirus cases in South Carolina is likely around 42,000 cases. DHEC also estimates that we will continue to have 1,000 to 1,200 additional cases confirmed per week through mid-May and over 9,000 confirmed cases by May 16. One positive sign is the prediction that South Carolina has now passed the time of peak hospital demand, however it remains to be seen if case numbers decline or accelerate as social distancing restrictions are eased.
Another positive sign is reporting that South Carolina legislators continue to push for greater workers’ compensation protections for healthcare workers and “essential” business employees who contract the coronavirus. Several lawmakers are pushing to enact a change in the law to create a presumption that any healthcare worker, first responder, or employee of an “essential” business who contracts COVID-19 is presumed to have contracted it at work. While we believe South Carolina’s existing workers’ compensation laws cover workers who face a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus at work, the proposed presumption would provide further help to deserving workers.
Contact a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
While any South Carolina worker’s compensation case can be complex, this is especially the case given the unprecedented situation the COVID-19 crisis presents. The attorneys the Steinberg Law Firm, LLP, are here to help you and your family through this difficult time. We represent South Carolina healthcare workers and other essential employees who have contracted coronavirus (COVID-19). Even if you are not certain where you contracted the virus, we can help. Our compassionate team of South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers recognize the difficulties all healthcare workers are facing, and cater our representation accordingly, making sure to answer all your questions in a straightforward and understandable way.
Our lawyers and paralegals will be working remotely to ensure both new and existing clients will not experience any interruptions in service. We have deployed remote working technology and can accommodate phone and video conferencing during the quarantine period of time.
If you need our help for whatever reason, please contact us so we can learn how to help you. As always, we offer free consultations. During this remote period, we will conduct our initial consultation over the phone via FaceTime or Zoom – whatever works best for you. To learn more, call 843-720-2800 to schedule a free consultation today.