Will Workers’ Compensation Premiums Skyrocket Because of COVID-19?
With more workers filing claims for workers’ compensation benefits, it is likely that premiums will increase. Here is what you need to know.
Workers’ compensation is a benefit program that provides no-fault benefits to workers who are injured on the job in Nebraska. While workers’ compensation benefits have covered both workplace injuries and occupational illnesses for decades, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing a change in the workers’ compensation landscape. New rules in many areas of the country mandate workers’ compensation coverage for workers who contract COVID-19 on the job, including healthcare workers, delivery employees, grocery store workers, and other frontline employees.
While ensuring that workers’ are covered in the event that they contract the potentially deadly virus is critical, there is one potential complication — the increase in the number of workers’ compensation claims could result in higher premiums in the future.
Bankrupt Companies and Skyrocketing Premiums
According to an article published in Bloomberg Law in late March 2020, employers should be prepared for two things: a significant increase in the number of claims being filed that could, potentially, bankrupt a workers’ compensation insurance company, as well as skyrocketing premiums either soon or after the crisis has concluded.
Proving Exposure at Work
While workers’ compensation benefits may have been expanded due to the coronavirus, workers and employers should know that there is still a duty to prove causation - that is, that the injury, in this case, COVID-19, occurred as a direct result of work-related activities. However, there may be a legal argument to be made that citing one’s status as an “essential employee” may do just that. As such, employers who are afraid of rising premiums and want to mitigate claims as such may not be able to do so if claims for coronavirus-related illness are being filed by essential employees.
Will Rising Premiums Affect Workers?
Injured workers should be aware that whether or not workers’ compensation premiums increase, workers will still have the full right to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a protected right, which means that an employee cannot be retaliated against for filing a claim. Regardless of what an employer’s premiums are, a worker should absolutely file a workers’ compensation claim if they are injured on the job or develop a disease or illness as a direct result of their work-related activities.
Call Our Omaha Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
Understanding the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complicated, and during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be even more uncertain of what your rights are, whether or not you are covered, and how to interact with your employer in order to bring forth a workers’ compensation claim if you have contracted the novel coronavirus. At Andres Law Offices, PC LLO, our Omaha workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help. If you have been injured or have become ill and want to learn more about workers’ compensation, or if you have started a workers’ compensation claim and your claim has been denied, please call our law firm directly. We can provide you with a free consultation and legal services on a contingent-fee basis. Reach us today online or by phone to get started.