The number of people who have died from Coronavirus is staggering. We have passed 90,000 total deaths including more than 4,000 in Illinois.
Some of these people who have died were elderly and had pre-existing conditions. Others were younger and healthy before they got sick.
Whether you pass away or simply get infected, if you can prove you got Covid 19 from your job, you have a workers’ compensation case. While some people like to argue that those with underlying conditions shouldn’t count toward the Covid death toll (I strongly disagree), it’s important to know what that argument means when it comes to Illinois work comp laws.
There is a legal principle in Illinois that says your employer takes you as they find you. In simple terms this means that you don’t get punished because you have a pre-existing condition that gets worse from doing your job. So if you have a bad back to begin with and then it gets worse from lifting on the job, you’d have a case.
In the same respect, let’s say you work at a nursing home, meatpacking plant or any other place in Illinois. You’ve got a heart problem or COPD or diabetes, etc. You are not healthy necessarily, but you are able to work. If you get sick and die from Covid, your loved ones would have a work comp case if you caught it on the job. Even if your life expectancy was only a couple of years, up to 25 years of death benefits would be received.
And of course these rules don’t just apply when someone dies. If you have an underlying condition, it’s certainly more likely that Covid will hit you harder. You don’t get punished if that happens. In fact it likely makes your case worth more.
It’s important to know that more than one in four people are considered to have an existing health problem. That is a huge number. Fortunately Illinois workers comp law protects those people and doesn’t allow insurance companies to come up with b.s. defenses to deny you benefits if you get sick or hurt.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t worry about what anyone is saying about this terrible virus and instead focus on what the law is. If you have been infected or simply have any questions, you are welcome to call us any time at 312-346-5578 for a free consultation. We help all over Illinois.