People seek treatment at hospitals when they are in need of medical care for an injury, illness, or other serious condition. As an employee, you have the right to expect that a hospital is a safe work environment. But, what about in the middle of a global pandemic?
In the best of times, hospitals can be breeding grounds for germs and infections. The Centers for Disease Control reports that roughly 1 in 648,000 people in the U.S. develop infections in hospitals annually, leading to about 75,000 deaths.
But what if you work for a hospital and contract the virus? If you have contracted COVID-19 at a hospital, you may be able to collect workers’ comp, and our experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys will be happy to review your case.
COVID-19 in Hospitals
The coronavirus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Jan. 30 and named “COVID-19” on Feb. 11. By the third week of May, there had been more than 5.2 million cases and nearly 340,000 deaths worldwide. The U.S. has the highest number of cases and deaths at 1.64 million and around 100,000 respectively.
According to the CDC, there are higher rates of hospitalization with COVID-19 among older adults. Unfortunately, the CDC also reports that the virus can be transmitted to others while a person is presymptomatic or asymptomatic, meaning they’ve been exposed to COVID-19 but don’t feel sick. This poses a serious danger of infection to others in a hospital setting if that facility isn’t taking the necessary precautions.
Lawsuits by Hospital Employees Who Contract COVID-19
By the middle of April, COVID-19 had infected 9,000 U.S. healthcare workers, and the numbers continue to climb. In Detroit, more than 700 employees of the Henry Ford Health System tested positive, and one in five positive tests in Ohio has been a health care worker.
If you are a hospital employee that has tested positive for COVID-19, you likely won’t have a personal injury claim. But, you do have the right to claim benefits under workers’ compensation. Even so, you may face an uphill battle collecting the benefits you need and deserve.
Some employers might allege that you were just as likely to contract the virus in your ordinary activities as you were at work. This will be a tough argument for many to win if recommended safety protocols weren’t followed, or healthcare staff didn’t have access to the right kind of PPE to keep them and others free from harm.
Workplace injuries are not uncommon in a healthcare setting, but COVID-19 has made going to work each day particularly hazardous. If you’ve been infected with this virus, our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys would be happy to explain your rights under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.
Speak with an Experienced Pittsburgh Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has contracted COVID-19 in a hospital, you may have the right to pursue legal action against the facility. While some patients recover quickly from this virus, there is still much we don’t know about it, and it can be deadly for many who are infected.
At Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, we have been protecting the rights of the injured and their loved ones for over two decades. Whether you contracted this virus as a patient or an employee, our seasoned accident attorneys can protect your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact our office today at 412-567-1232, toll-free at 866-466-5789, or message us online to schedule a free case evaluation. Our office is following social distancing guidelines but remains available to provide the high level of service our clients expect.