Initial Investigation Questions for COVID-19 Claims

Our clients have been asking for guidance on directing investigations into potential COVID-19 claims. If you have been directing investigations into these claims and need a set of basic questions to work through, this list is for you! 

Here are the questions we’re asking now:

QUESTIONS FOR CLAIMANTS/EMPLOYEES

  1. What are your job duties? 
  2. What are the job duties that you claim led to the exposure?  Get specifics and find out how often the job duties alleges put the employee in connection with the virus.
  3. When did this alleged exposure take place?   How many times?
  4. If the exposure is claimed related to interaction with a person at work – who do you allege had the diagnosis of Coronavirus and what work related connection do you have to that person?    How often did you come into contact with this person.  When?  What was the nature of your contacts with this person?
  5. What exactly were you doing when you allege you were exposed to this virus?
  6. Do you know anyone outside of work who has been sick recently?  If so what is you connection and exposure to them?
  7. Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus?  If so who and what if your connection to that person?
  8. Have you traveled outside of the country in the last month?  If so where were you?
  9. Do you know anyone who has traveled outside the country in the last month?  If so who and what is your connection to that person?
  10. Do you have another job? If so, explain.

A.    IF EMPLOYEE IS ALLEGING EXPOSURE ONLY

All the above questions (1-9) above, PLUS

  • Describe all of your work locations for the past 30 days.
  • Were you using any employer-provide PPE?
  • Have you been tested for COVID-19?
  • Do you plan to be tested for COVID-19? If so, where?
  • Has anyone you know outside of work tested positive for COVID-19? If so, when?
  • Have you taken any medication related to this alleged exposure?
  • Has anyone else in this employment told you they were exposed?

B.    IF ALLEGING POTENTIAL ILLNESS/INFECTION

These questions apply to a claimant who is alleging exposure and illness, but has not received a formal diagnosis (positive COVID-19 test). All of the above questions (1-9), and all questions regarding alleged exposure (Part “A,” above), PLUS

  • Do you have a fever?
  • Have you had a fever? If so, when?
  • Describe your current symptoms.
  • When was the onset of your current symptoms?
  • Do you have any other unrelated medical conditions?
  • Are you on any medications?

C.    IF ALLEGING COVID-19 ILLNESS

These questions apply where the claimant has a positive COVID-19 test result. All of the basic questions (1-9), and all of the questions above (Part “A,” and “B”) PLUS

  • Where was your diagnosis made? By whom?
  • What treatment was provided at the time of diagnosis? What guidance did the testing provider give?
  • When (time and date) was your diagnosis made?
  • How long did you have symptom onset before diagnosis?
  • When was the last day you worked prior to your positive test?
  • Have you been ordered to self-quarantine by any health or civil authority (individual order, NOT general executive order)
  • How long have you been in isolation? 
  • Who do you live with; inquire about family members affected.
     

QUESTIONS FOR YOUR EMPLOYERS/INSUREDS

Here are questions for employers, broken out into two categories (A) Where the Employer Has A “Suspected but Unconfirmed” Claim for COVID-19 and (B) Where the Employee has “Confirmed” Case of COVID-19. 

A.    “SUSPECTED BUT UNCONFIRMED” STATUS

This includes employees who self-report they have symptoms, employees who self-report that they came in contact with someone with presumptive positive case of COVID-19. 

  1. Did you send employees home from work who were showing symptoms? If yes, explain.
  2. Did you send employees home from work who self-reported contact with presumptively positive person?
  3. Did you observe and record any employees with symptoms? If so, explain (how many, etc).
  4. Did you take employee’s temperatures?
  5. What precautions did you take for those collecting temperatures from employees, applicants, or customers?
  6. Was Personal Protection Equipment (“PPE”) distributed to employees? If so, what PPE was made available?
  7. Were any employees traveling into an known-affected area? Any employee traveling to and from a non-restricted area? If so, where?
  8. Were any employees traveling from a covid-affected area?
  9. Were any employees traveling through any of the 13 airports where DHS has established enhanced screening procedures in the last 90 days? What was the result of their medical interview (if known).
  10. Has a remote work policy been implemented? If so, when?
  11. Did you send home all employee who worked closely with the presumptively positive individual?
  12. How many employees did you send home? 
  13. Did you remain in contact with employees sent home to determine if they developed symptoms?
  14. How long did employees remain in self-isolation?

B.    CONFIRMED POSITIVE / EMPLOYEE TESTED POSITIVE

These questions are for employers with confirmed (“tested”) positive claimants. Ask all questions (above) PLUS

  1. Did employees test positive?
  2. What was your protocol for positive employees?
  3. Did you remain in contact with infected employees to determines status?
  4. Was any report made to CDC, OSH, State OSH, State DOL, or local health authorities?
  5. Did you send home all employee who worked closely with the positive individual?
  6. How many employees did you send home?
  7. Did you remain in contact with employees sent home to determine if they developed symptoms?

Have a Question About a Coronavirus Claim?

Contact Greg Lois, Managing Partner of Lois Law Firm LLC, with any questions.

Defending Employers in New York, New Jersey, and Longshore.