Question: If I get corona virus at work, can I file a workers’ comp claim? Answer: Yes. However, you can bet that the insurance company is going to challenge the validity of a corona virus claim.
In Nevada workers’ compensation, the Claimant/Injured worker bears the burden of proving their entitlement to benefits by a preponderance of the evidence. NRS 616C.150(1) What does that mean? Let’s start by defining what a preponderance of the evidence is. A preponderance of the evidence is you proving that “within a reasonable degree of medical probability” you were exposed to and contracted the disease at work. A reasonable degree of medical probability like showing that its 51% more likely than not that you got the virus at work. How do you prove that?
First: You’ll have to provide medical evidence from a physician. The physician has to state that it is her medical opinion that, “within a reasonable degree of medical probability”, you were exposed to and contracted the corona virus at work. The physician can be your family doctor, an urgent care doctor or emergency room doctor or another qualified physician. The doctor’s opinion will have to be in writing.
Second: What facts will you have to prove? You’ll have to prove that you were exposed at work. You’ll have to provide facts to support your claim in addition to the doctor’s opinion. For example, you’ll have to prove that you weren’t equally exposed in your home. You’ll be asked about your shopping habits if you’ve been going to church or other gatherings. Maybe you can show an outbreak at work or that a coemployee you worked with has tested positive for the virus (without violating HIPA or privacy laws).
If you can prove your claim, you’ll be entitled to all normal workers’ comp benefits. Benefits like, no copays or deductibles on medical services and hospitalizations, free prescriptions, wage replacement payments, a disability evaluation, and potential vocational rehabilitation. But, as I said in the beginning, I fully expect the insurance company, and probably the employer, are going to highly question a corona virus claim. The insurance company will have claims adjusters, investigators, physicians and even attorneys at their disposal to question your claim. Who’s on your side?