Since the arrival of COVID-19, people have learned to adapt to a new way of life. Lockdowns and guidelines have affected nearly every aspect of our society and have introduced new situations that no one thought they would ever encounter.
People’s day to day routines has been altered drastically to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The way we approach hygiene is more strict and much more rigorous. The use of sanitizer and disinfectant is now standard everywhere we go. Simple tasks such as going to the store or work require strict regulations.
In today’s world, interaction with people happens from a distance or online, which means businesses have had to restructure how they operate. Many people have begun to work from home and are spending limited time in-person at the office. Various establishments have had to close or limit their services to the public temporarily.
Due to various businesses shutting down, many people have lost their jobs. The economy has taken an enormous hit across many industries while others thrive, with everyone having to stay locked inside their homes. Recently, the economy has begun to recover, with sectors opening up again. However, there is still a long way to go.
During these times, it is perfectly acceptable for people to think about their legal rights. People wonder what will happen if they or their families become ill. They may also be curious about how the coronavirus will affect their business or what losses they may suffer because of the pandemic.
Jeremy Diamond, the senior partner of Diamond & Diamond Lawyers, a full-service law firm with plenty of experience in personal injury cases, explains that people can still exercise their rights during a pandemic. There may be safety guidelines in place, but full legal services are always available for anyone who requires them.
Filing A Lawsuit If You Get Sick
Depending on the circumstances, you may have legal grounds to file for compensation if you contract the coronavirus. COVID-19 injury lawsuits’ merits are getting sick with the disease as a personal injury case if you become injured because of negligence. If you believe that the party at fault for your suffering has breached their duty of care to you, there may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Like other types of personal injury lawsuits, a person with duty has a legal obligation to act reasonably. For example, employees need to mark or clean up a spill before someone slips.
You can not decide what falls within the duty of care if you get sick. Coronavirus is a new situation society facing, so the legal system has to adjust to COVID-19. It is based on those regulations that you can file a lawsuit.
Proving a COVID-19 Personal Injury Claim
When it comes to the merit of COVID-19 injury lawsuits, there’s quite a lot that needs to be proven. As mentioned before, this is a new area in personal injury law, so in court, the following fault needs to be shown during the trial:
- The party at fault owed a duty of care to protect you from getting sick or suffering a loss. This means a business or facility should ensure that everything is adequately cleaned and proper regulations are followed at all times.
- The other party breached the duty of care by failing to take reasonable action. Having no sanitization procedure or crowd control measures are some examples of what is considered a breach of duty in a COVID-19 personal injury case.
- Due to the other party’s breach of duty of care, you got sick or suffered a loss. One of the most vital parts of this case is proving that getting sick is directly linked to the party’s negligence.
In a personal injury trial, you also have to show the damages or loss you’ve suffered due to breaching the duty of care. This is to help determine what you can claim as part of your compensation. The following can be included:
- Medical treatment: This includes any tests done to determine what you’re suffering from as well as the treatment you will have to receive afterward.
- Pain and suffering: Many things fall into this category, including anxiety, shock, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Physical injury: All types of illness, bodily damage, or disability. The injury can range from minor to catastrophic.
Types of COVID-19 Injury Lawsuits
Businesses are not the only establishments that are included in COVID-19 personal injury lawsuits. There are other situations where this kind of case is applicable. There are several types of COVID-19 personal injury lawsuits, which include:
Getting Sick While Incarcerated Due to Negligence of Jail Staff
Jails and prisons have become one of the biggest COVID-19 epicenters. A combination of the negligence of staff and overcrowding of inmates has led to large outbreaks in penitentiaries. Furthermore, there are many correctional facilities with limited healthcare capabilities and large numbers of vulnerable individuals. If an inmate gets infected because of these negligent practices, then they can file a suit.
Getting Sick In a Nursing Home Due to Negligence of Nursing Home Staff
The most vulnerable individuals to contract COVID-19 are the elderly. Despite being most inclined to the rapid spread of illness and infection, some states have shielded nursing homes and long-term care facilities from liability during this time. However, they still have to comply with specific protective measures to ensure the residents’ safety. Nursing homes are liable if:
- Staff members and residents are not quarantined.
- The nursing home is not cleaned and disinfected correctly.
- The residents aren’t informed about the risks.
Many long-term care facilities and nursing homes failed to implement basic safety protocols early on, which led to significant consequences for residents. An excessive number of deaths were reported because of extreme negligence. This can be considered grounds to file wrongful death suits, but you would have to consult a lawyer to know for sure.
Getting Sick As an Essential Worker Due to Negligence of Your Employer or Third Party
Essential workers continue to be the most integral part of the workforce. Employers need to ensure the workplace is clean and safe for all crucial workers. Due to the high risk associated with being more involved and exposed to the community, worker’s compensation does include contracting the coronavirus.
Other employees aren’t considered at-risk workers. They are considered to be the same level of risk both within and outside of their workspace. These workers can pursue personal injury claims when their employer’s intentional or negligent conduct results in them contracting COVID-19.
Getting Sick While In a Medical Facility Due to Negligence of Healthcare Staff
When it comes to contracting COVID-19 from a medical facility because of negligence, there are grounds for medical malpractice. These types of cases have complex procedural requirements so having a personal injury lawyer is vital. Remember that you can consult Diamond & Diamond on COVID-19 Injury Lawsuits and determine the COVID-19 injury lawsuit’s merit.
COVID-19 Injury Lawsuits Have Challenges
There are many difficulties when it comes to COVID-19 injury lawsuits. One of the most critical parts of any personal injury case is proving the other party is at fault. This can be challenging because it is not always clear who or where you could’ve gotten the virus.
Another challenge is proving when and how the virus was spread to you. Contact tracing is a good tactic, but it is not always reliable. Due to the many ways the virus can spread, one of the only ways you can prove that the other party is at fault is establishing negligence beyond a reasonable doubt, though this will be difficult.
Consulting With an Experienced Personal Injury is Key
Any lawsuit requires at least one consultation with a lawyer. Getting legal advice before filing a suit will save you time and money. You will also know what compensation you can legally claim.
There’s so much uncharted territory when it comes to these cases. Many people are left thinking about what rights they have during these times. It is only fair that they get some form of justice if they contract the coronavirus despite efforts to avoid it.
Despite it all being about the same virus, each COVID-19 personal injury case is different. Each situation has its own merits and risks as well as complications, so talking to an experienced lawyer is hugely beneficial. If you’re unsure whether or not you have a case, consult Diamond & Diamond on the merit of COVID-19 injury lawsuits.
The arrival of COVID-19 has introduced new methods of approaching lawsuits. Although the pandemic is unprecedented, experienced personal injury lawyers can guide your rights and legal options.
Staying healthy and safe remains the number one priority for everyone. Practicing and following health regulations can help reduce risk. However, if you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer, make sure to do so as quickly as possible.