COVID-19 Related Workers’ Comp Claims Will Likely Increase in 2021

COVID-19 workers' comp claims

The filing for workers’ compensation will likely increase to include claims for COVID-19 related as we head into 2021.

While standard workers’ compensation laws do cover “occupational diseases” that arise out of employment, many states exclude “ordinary diseases of life” (the common cold or flu). And this is where the law can be a little tricky. Workers’ advocacy groups and workers’ compensation lawyers can argue that the risk of contracting COVID-19 at work is higher for certain industries and could constitute a special case. [1]

There are no legal precedents set right now, which means as this pandemic unfolds, laws will be written to decide the best course of action regarding COVID-19 related workers’ comp claims. A legal precedent is established when a decision or a series of decisions are used to set a standard that all other cases will have to follow. [2]

Though there are now hundreds of COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuits filed across the country, each state is handling these cases differently. Some states will make it harder to sue for COVID-19 workers’ compensation.

The case of Gutierrez vs. Publix Supermarkets in Miami Beach might set the legal precedent for all COVID-19 related workers’ comp claims in the state of Florida and maybe even much of the country.

In order to prepare for the likely influx of COVID-19 related workers’ comp claims, some states are increasing insurance premiums as soon as January 2021. In California, business owners can expect to see their premiums raised significantly for the first time in many years. [3]

In Florida, the number of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims continues to drop from a high of 8,000 in July 2020 to just over 1,000 in November 2020. [4]

There are also talks of an additional COVID-19 surcharge being applied to all workers’ compensation insurance moving forward, though nothing has been decided as of this posting.

About The Author

Michael Steinger

Michael Steinger

The Florida BarFlorida Bar Young Lawyers DivisionMillion Dollar Advocates ForumMillion Dollar Advocates ForumBest Workers Compensation Attorneys in MiamiBest Car Accident Lawyers in MiamiLawyers of distinction

MICHAEL S. STEINGER, founding partner of Steinger, Greene & Feiner, believes in representing real people, not big businesses. Since the firm’s creation in 1997, Steinger, Greene & Feiner has never represented an insurance company or large corporation, and he vows to keep this promise. Over the course of his career, Michael has handled thousands of Florida accident cases, recovering millions of dollars for his clients and earning him membership into the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving laws protecting injury victims and their families, Michael is an active member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Bar Associations, and sits on the Auto Insurance Committee of the Florida Justice Association.