Texas was one of the hardest-hit states by the coronavirus this year, with more than 2.6 million reported cases and 43,000 deaths. As cases drop throughout the country, many are left wondering what their options are and how to move forward. If you got COVID-19 because your employer or others in your workplace did not take the appropriate safety measures, you could have the right to take legal action. As we approach the pandemic’s one-year mark, many are going back to work and adapting to this new way of living. Unfortunately, it’s not just doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who are at risk of contracting the virus at their place of employment. Anyone who works around other people is at risk. It is the responsibility of employers to provide a safe working environment for ALL employees. This means ensuring there are no hazards to taking appropriate measures in the face of a deadly virus like COVID-19.
Employees who feel their employers did not live up to that standard duty of care should contact Shamieh Law and schedule a free consultation. The Dallas personal injury lawyers have been keeping a close eye on class action lawsuits and other litigation relating to the coronavirus and are here to answer your questions today. We understand how stressful and overwhelming these types of cases can be and are committed to providing you the support and resources necessary to move forward. To learn more about Texas coronavirus lawsuits, contact Shamieh Law.
The purpose of today’s article is to take a closer look at filing a COVID claim against your employer. When we discussed this topic over the summer, the virus was still relatively new, and millions were grappling with the repercussions. Today, a year into the pandemic, it’s essential we revisit the topic with a fresher lens. If you have any questions or are interested in pursuing a lawsuit, give us a call and speak to one of our experienced Dallas COVID-19 lawyers.
COVID-19 By the Numbers
As we mentioned above, Texas has reported more than 2.6 million cases and 43,444 deaths related to the coronavirus. Let’s take a closer a how the virus has impacted the Lone Star State:
- Harris County has recorded the most cases (344,898) and deaths (4,980) in the state
- Dallas County has the second-highest number of cases (279,108) and deaths (3,356)
- As of today, 2,397,697 Texans have recovered from the virus
- California has the most coronavirus deaths in the nation
- One in 13 eligible Texans have received the vaccine so far
- As of mid-February, Texas had administered 2.75 million vaccines
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims
Typically, workers’ compensation claims are filed when you suffer an injury or illness at work. While numerous rules are surrounding how a claim can be filed, some exceptions will allow a Texas employee to sue their employer for a workplace injury:
- The employer did not carry workers’ compensation benefits
- A third-party contributed to an employee’s injury or illness
Steps to File a COVID Claim
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide a workplace free of known hazards. Since early 2020, the coronavirus has been a known hazard that has the potential to be deadly. OSHA stated employers must follow guidelines in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. These guidelines include:
- Confirm employees have a temperature under 100.4 and have not experienced any coughing, shortness of breath, or other symptoms
- Visually inspect employees for signs of illness, such as fatigue or flushed cheeks
- Practice social distancing when returning to work
- Require all employees to wear masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19
- Require employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 isolate and follow these steps
If you have reason to believe your employer deliberately put their employees at risk of exposure to COVID-19, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. Here are a few examples of how employers have not created safe working environments during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Failure to provide PPE like masks and other protective gear
- Failure to adjust the schedule to create a safer work environment that allowed for social distancing and less co-worker contact
- Failure to adequately sanitize the workplace in general, especially following a positive COVID case
If you have questions about suing your employer for not taking the appropriate steps to keep you and your co-workers safe, contact Shamieh Law. These cases are relatively complex and require the knowledge and experience of a team of lawyers who understand what you are going through. Although cases are dropping nationwide, many are still at risk, and employers must continue to take safety measures and steps that protect workers and consumers alike.