Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available To Firefighters & EMTs Exposed To Or Diagnosed With COVID-19
By BAGOLIE FRIEDMAN INJURY LAWYERS, Correspondent | April 15, 2020 | NEW JERSEY
Story No. 041520108
Confidential Virtual Consultations Available Learn Your Rights & Protect Your Benefits
As a Firefighter or EMT, when you get hurt or contract an illness on the job,
-We know how bosses pressure you not to file a workers’ comp claim,
-We know how the City will misrepresent the law to make it seem like they have no responsibility,
-We know how your job might not even have the correct information to guide you.
So, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 - exposed to COVID-19 -- or think you might have -- been exposed to COVID-19 the steps below will help you protect your legal rights and benefits.
STEP #1: Call your doctor immediately. Tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person or tested or be in isolation.
STEP #2: As soon as you believe you were exposed to COVID-19, file a workers’ compensation claim. This is your legal right. Don’t be pressured or bullied out of filing your claim. Even if you have no symptoms or they appear to be minor, it could become serious in the months ahead.
STEP #3: Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. It’s never a good idea to delay contacting a lawyer who handles firefighters’ workers’ comp claims. After all, you want to do everything possible to protect your rights and benefits, especially if your injury or illness might result in missed work days, progress to need extensive treatment or leave permanent disability.
As essential workers, a firefighter or EMT is more likely than the general public to be exposed to the the virus either in dealing with the public, responding to sick calls and accidents, working with or near crowds, ambulances and emergency rooms. Additionally, these viruses are easily passed around in close quarters such as locker rooms, fire trucks and ambulances. And thanks to the new Thomas P. Canzanella Twenty First Century First Responders Protection Act, which was enacted to protect firefighters / EMTs and covers epidemics like the COVID-19, there is a PRESUMPTION that your exposure to COVID-19 is work related. This means that any injury or death due to COVID-19 is a comprensible workers’ compensation case which triggers all of the benefits available under the Act.
Just what benefits are available? First, unlimited medical treatment and testing paid 100% by the Job (no co-pays or deductibles and includes PPE). Second, temporary disability paid under workers’ compensation / IOD (do NOT use or burn your sick time) and this covers any period of isolation or quarantine as well. Third, money for any residual permanent disability. There is also a death benefit for spouses and dependent children of an officer that passes from COVID-19.
I represent active and retired firefighters and EMTs in workers’ compensation claims and the lawyers at our firm know the unusual risks you face and have extensive experience with exposure and disease claims and have the skill, resources and -- most importantly -- the courage to protect you.
There is no cost for our consultations and we only get paid if we obtain money or benefits for you.
I would be happy to speak to any firefighter, EMT or family member who may be exposed or already diagnosed or put on quarantine or just have questions. You may text or call my cell which is 201-618-0508 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and stay safe.
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.