Hepatitis C Transmission in the Course of your Employment (Part 2 of 2)
In 2013, Burg Simpson attorney Nick Fogel was asked to contribute to the Winter Edition of The Colorado State Trooper magazine. This two-part blog series includes content originally published in that article.
Hepatitis C Transmission and Your Rights and Obligations
In Part 1 of our blog series, we discussed the risks to first responders, as well as legislation that has been enacted to protect them. However, it is of vital importance that first responders who believe they may have been exposed to hepatitis C follow the below list of timeline requirements:
- You must report the possible hepatitis C exposure within two days after you knew or reasonably should have known of the exposure. Make a report even if you are not sure if you were exposed to this disease. Do not be your own doctor! Hepatitis C is a terrible disease.
- Within five days after filing the report, you must submit to what is referred to as a baseline test. The employer will provide you with the name of the medical facility where you will receive the baseline test. Unless you have already contracted hepatitis C, the disease will not test positive during the five day period. If the baseline test shows negative for the diseases, it proves that you did not have the disease prior to the exposure.
- You will be tested periodically over the next 24 months after the on-the-job exposure to the known or possible source. If, after the end of the 24-month period, your test results are negative, you should talk with your doctor about receiving future tests.
- If you test negative for hepatitis C over the two year period, your medical care is covered under workers’ compensation. The statute states that workers’ compensation benefits cover first responders who are exposed to hepatitis C as well as coverage to those who actually contract the disease.
Under the hepatitis C statute the insurer may choose to deny the claim of on-the-job exposure to, or contraction of, hepatitis C. If you have followed all the timeline requirements, you have the advantage of presumption. It is then that the insurer, not you, the claimant, has the initial burden to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the exposure or contraction of hepatitis C did not occur on the job.
All of the attorneys in our office (myself included) will evaluate your case for free or talk with you to make sure we are a fit, all it takes is a call. If you have been hurt and want someone to fight for you, call me at 303-792-5595 or submit a request using the button on the right side of the page to have someone from our office contact you.
Nick Fogel is a shareholder and Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation department at Burg Simpson. In this capacity, Nick specializes in representing law enforcement in injury claims. In 2010, Nick was selected by Law Week Colorado as one of Colorado’s Up-and-Coming Lawyers, a distinction given to attorneys who are at most in their sixth year of practice and have already accomplished tremendous things professionally and in the community. Nick has also been selected by the National Trial Lawyers Association for inclusion in The Top 40 under 40 Association. Membership into The Top 40 under 40 Association is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young trial lawyer. Additionally, Nick has been selected by the National Trial Lawyers Association as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in the state of Colorado. The selection is based on superior qualifications, leadership, reputation, influence, stature, and profile in the Trial Lawyer community. Since 2012, Nick has been listed as a Colorado Super Lawyer Rising Star, a distinction limited to only the top 2.5 percent of qualifying lawyers in the state.