On April 6, 2020 Governor McMaster issued an executive order requiring most residents stay at home to reduce the rate at which coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads. However, the Governor’s executive order leaves room for many “essential” businesses to continue operation. Employees who work for these essential businesses, depending on their employers, may be required to come into work.
At the Steinberg Law Firm, LLP, we represent healthcare works and other essential employees in workers’ compensation claims to help them recover the costs associated with their illness. Our South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers have over 170 years of combined legal experience handling workers’ compensation claims, and possess the knowledge and professionalism to handle your case from beginning to end with the utmost care and consideration.
- At least 9,200 healthcare workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus. However, the actual number of infected workers is thought to be much higher due to the lack of available testing.
- At least 743 healthcare workers have been hospitalized as a result of COVID-19
- At least 184 healthcare workers have been admitted to the ICU as a result of COVID-19
- 27 Healthcare workers across the Country have died from COVID-19.
Source: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/15/opinions/health-care-deaths-sepkowitz-opinion/index.html (as of 4/15/2020)
- At least 38 employees of the Medical University of South Carolina have contracted COVID-19.
Essential Workers in South Carolina
While there are a large number of essential workers in South Carolina, healthcare workers are the most common. Healthcare workers have been on the front line of the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19), well before the virus was completely understood. And due to the fact that the virus took the country by storm, many hospitals across South Carolina were unprepared to handle the number of patients. As a result, many healthcare workers have been caring for sick patients without the necessary Personal Protective Equipment.
Studies have shown that South Carolina healthcare workers are both at an elevated risk of contracting COVID-19 and also tend to suffer from more serious symptoms than those who do not work in the healthcare industry. Across the country, there are at least 9,200 healthcare workers who have been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). In many of these cases, the healthcare worker required hospitalization. Not only are these workers’ health put in serious jeopardy, but they will also miss a significant amount of work and, when they recover, will face medical expenses related to their care. By filing a South Carolina workers’ compensation claim, healthcare workers and other essential employees who contracted coronavirus (COVID-19) as a result of their employment may be eligible for compensation.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act allows employees who are injured on the job to recover for their lost wages and medical expenses. The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning that an employee does not need to show that their employer was negligent or otherwise at fault for their injuries. Additionally, even employees who are partially at fault for their injuries may still be eligible for compensation.
When discussing workers’ compensation claims, on-the-job accidents may come to mind. However, employees who contract an occupational disease are also eligible. Under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws, an occupational disease is “a disease arising out of the course and scope of employment which is due to hazards in excess of those ordinarily incident to employment and is peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged.”
To successfully bring a workers’ compensation claim, an employee who contracted COVID-19 would need to establish that they caught the virus at work. Clearly, there is not necessarily any way to know for certain where someone caught coronavirus (COVID-19), however, healthcare workers who are frequently exposed to COVID-19 may have an easier time proving their case. Unless, of course, if the worker has a friend or family member whom may have transmitted the virus to the healthcare worker.
South Carolina workers’ compensation claims are often disputed by insurance companies that expend a huge amount of resources on their legal team. Essential workers and healthcare workers who have contracted COVID-19 should be sure that they have a dedicated advocate on their side, as well.
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.