The COVID-19 pandemic presents unexpected circumstances that have already affected countless workers’ compensation claims across the nation. Claimants in states with high infection rates have had to cancel court hearings or postpone them until infected parties are well enough to testify. In addition, these claimants have had to make arrangements for medical care and transportation on their own as health care professionals have become overwhelmed treating emerging cases of the virus. Workers’ compensation attorneys have dealt with uncertainties and concerns about how long the pandemic will last, how far it will spread, and what will happen when it is overcome.
How Might the Pandemic Affect My Case?
In many ways, a worker claiming workers’ compensation is no different from a patient seeking medical care in light of the pandemic. Workers who are injured and require medical attention could face challenges during their treatment since healthcare providers are dealing with disruptions relating to COVID-19. They might find it difficult to access emergency services or prescriptions. Workers could also be apprehensive about being treated due to confusion about transmission and exposure.
If you are trying to determine if your case will be affected by the pandemic, you might want to ask yourself a few questions: Does my health have an impact on my ability to return to work? Do I need expensive medication or surgery? Will my condition result in long-term recovery? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you should anticipate that your workers’ compensation case may suffer some delays. The good news is that workers’ compensation judges and hearing officers understand how important it is to get injured workers back into their jobs as soon as possible.
What Other Difficulties Have Impacted or Will Impact My Case?
If you have been personally affected by COVID-19, you will likely be facing numerous uncertainties. First, it is unclear how long the virus will persist in your body or if there are any long-term effects from infection. This may cause concern about whether your case should be filed as a short-term disability claim or as a permanent disability claim. It might also raise uncertainty about what information to present at a hearing as well as when it would occur. Many defendants are still refusing to settle cases due to their own insurance carrier’s positions.
Difficulty Receiving Medical Care
Obtaining proper medical care could be difficult. Your attorney may be able to assist you in ensuring you get adequate care from a provider who is willing to treat workers’ compensation claimants. They may also be able to help reduce stress by arranging transportation and/or temporary housing for you, depending on your situation. Even though your case is proceeding under difficult circumstances, it’s important that you receive proper treatment to aid your recovery. Without adequate medical attention, your worker’s compensation claim could be delayed significantly or completely denied.
Transportation issues affect whether or not claimants will be able to make it to hearings at all, causing delays in proceedings. In some cases, for patients whose scheduled surgeries were postponed, missed transportation means missed care, leading to further questions for everyone involved. While we are unable to do anything about a court system grappling with transportation problems caused by the pandemic, workers’ compensation attorneys can anticipate and manage problems by keeping their clients up to date with communications regarding rescheduled hearings. Doing so also reduces stress levels and confusion throughout your client’s claims process.
To avoid wasting your time meeting with an attorney who doesn’t specialize in Workers’ Compensation claims, ask about their experience and approach when you call to schedule your appointment. Choose Erwin, McCane & Daly. We are a trusted source for people who need representation.