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COVID-19 Workers Compensation

Legal Helpline: ☎ 1800 529 835

If you have contracted Covid 19 in the course of your employment you may be eligible for workers compensation. In Victoria, Australia, for example, you need to establish that your work was a “substantial contributing factor”. You need to establish a link between your work and exposure to the virus.

Establishing that you have contracted the virus through a work activity can be difficult, especially if you have been active in a wide variety of locations outside of the workplace that may have exposed you to the risk of contracting the virus. However, workcover compensation claims are being accepted, especially where a worker's employment puts them at greater risk of contracting Covid-19, for example, when work requires you to travel and work within a known hotspot/outbreak area, or your work requires you to work with people who have contracted Covid-19.

Our service has provided advice to doctors, nurses, aged care workers, allied health care workers, retail workers, teachers, cleaners, transport and logistics workers, about their rights to Covid-19 workcover compensation. If you would like free and confidential advice, call our legal team on 1800 529 835 or complete the online contact form.

How does Covid-19 spread in the workplace?

In some industries, it may be easier to prove that you contracted coronavirus Covid19 through work because of the nature of the work itself- eg you are required to work with people who have the virus (healthcare settings, hospitals, testing clinics, nursing homes, quarantine hotels).

Covid-19 transmission in the workplace may happen because of:

  • Lack of social distancing
  • Inadequate cleaning measures
  • Breach of infection control measures
  • Inadequate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Under the law, employers are required to immediately inform worksafe (VIC) if an employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) and if they have attended the workplace during the infectious period.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The most common symptoms of covid-19 are:

  • fever;
  • dry cough;
  • tiredness.

Less common symptoms include:

  • aches and pains;
  • sore throat;
  • diarrhoea;
  • conjunctivitis;
  • headache;
  • loss of taste or smell;
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

Mild Cases of Covid 19

The clinical symptoms are mild and no pneumonia manifestations can be found in imaging.

Moderate Cases of Covid 19

Patients have symptoms such as fever and respiratory tract symptoms, and pneumonia manifestations can be seen in imaging.

Severe Cases of Covid-19

In severe and critical cases of covid 19, symptoms may manifest as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; chest pain or pressure; loss of speech or movement.

Critical Cases of Covid-19

Critical cases involve respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation; presence of shock; and other organ failure that requires monitoring and treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In early stages of critical cases where there is no organ failure (other than the lungs), recovery is still possible through antiviral and supportive treatment. In later stages, where the is moderate dysfunction of organs or failure of vital organs, or ECMO is used, mortality risk is significant.

What will workcover pay if I get Covid-19 through work?

If you contract covid-19 at work and you become ill, you will be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, pharmaceutical expenses related to the illness.

Coronavirus Covid19 Workers Compensation Solicitors

Our workers compensation solicitors can advise you of your rights to compensation under statutory laws and under the common law. It is most important that if you feel unwell and have any of the symptoms suggestive of covid 19, that you seek immediate testing and isolate accordingly.

If you do fall ill with covid-19 and you suspect that you may have caught the virus through work, a work-related activity, or due to somebody else’s negligence, it is worth speaking to a personal injury solicitor to see whether you are able to make a claim for damages. This is a complex area of law that is still evolving, so it is best to speak with a specialist compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

If you have lost a loved one as a result of covid-19 contracted in the workplace, or you suspect negligence, please contact our legal team for confidential and obligation-free advice.

Call our free helpline on 1800 529 835 or complete the online contact form.

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