The majority of the country has shut down due to COVID-19. In fact, April 30th is the new extended deadline for the Stay at Home Order in Louisiana. The state has reported a total of 24,000 coronavirus cases. As a result, many people are wondering what their options are if they become infected by the disease. Can they file a workers’ compensation claim?
Can Coronavirus Victims File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Louisiana?
As the coronavirus continues to spread, survivors want to know if they are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. In Louisiana, employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits if they contract an occupational disease. An occupational disease is a disease or illness resulting from “causes and conditions characteristic of and peculiar to the particular trade, occupation, process, or employment in which the employee is exposed to such disease.”
Essentially, an employee must prove that there is a unique relationship between his or her place of employment and the coronavirus. The place of employment must be the main reason that he or she contracted the disease. If another source was the primary cause of his or her COVID-19 contraction, then the claim for benefits will likely not succeed.
However, there are workers who are at a greater risk of contracting the disease. These individuals should contact a New Orleans workers’ compensation attorney immediately. An attorney must find evidence proving that the employee’s job duties placed him or her at a higher risk of contracting the disease. The risk must be greater than the risk faced by other employees and the general public.
Even still, proving this may not be enough to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation may argue that the disease is too prevalent. Therefore, it is impossible to determine whether it originated from the specific employment conditions.
Regardless, pandemic infections are not excluded from the occupational disease statutes in Louisiana. Thus, there is a chance that some employees could recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact a New Orleans Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Thousands of people have died from the coronavirus across the country. Over 1,300 have died in Louisiana alone. The survivors may be eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Yet, receiving these benefits is an uphill battle. Fortunately, a New Orleans workers’ compensation attorney can help. Contact Mitchell & Associates, APLC today for a free consultation. You can call 504-226-6530 or use our online messaging system. We have offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge and can answer your most pressing questions.