Many of us have had our lives upended, or at the very least disrupted, by the COVID-19 pandemic. During these surreal days of quarantine, it can be challenging to figure out who to listen to or where to turn for help.
In some instances, it’s possible that the legal system could provide you with some assistance or relief. Obviously, you can’t take legal action against a virus; if you get sick from the coronavirus, it may not be anyone’s “fault” as best you can tell.
Yet, there may be some select cases in which your infection can be traced to the action or inaction of another person. In such cases, it may be worth considering the merits of a COVID-19 personal injury claim.
COVID-19 and Negligence
Personal injury claims typically rest on the idea of negligence. The theory of negligence basically states that if a person or business fails to take reasonable and appropriate precautions, given the circumstances, and if their failure to take those precautions causes you personal harm, then you may have a right to seek financial restitution.
Personal injury claims can sometimes be hard to prove; in order to succeed in your case, you must make a persuasive case that, had the other party acted responsibly, you wouldn’t have sustained harm or injury.
In terms of COVID-19, it may be very difficult to prove negligence; specifically, it may be hard to prove that you contracted the virus due to someone else’s neglect and that you would not have been infected had they acted more prudently.
Possible Examples of COVID-19 Personal Injuries
With that said, there are a few instances in which it might make sense to pursue a COVID-19 personal injury case. Some examples:
- Nursing home negligence. Elderly people are at a high risk for the virus, and the effects of it are often fatal for those 70 and older. What’s more, within the confines of a nursing home, viruses can spread rapidly. If there is evidence that a nursing home failed to take appropriate safety measures (like implementing a strict quarantine), residents may have grounds on which to sue the nursing home.
- Cruise ship liability. There have been several cases in which cruise ship passengers have contracted COVID-19. In these situations, it is often possible to trace the infection back to the cruise ship itself. If a passenger can prove that the cruise ship failed to take responsible precautions, then there may be a viable course of legal action.
- Medical malpractice. What if a patient contracts COVID-19 at a hospital? If it can be proven that the hospital failed to take appropriate precautions, then the patient may have grounds for a lawsuit. Note that this would qualify as a medical malpractice case, as opposed to personal injury.
A final note: Some employees have contracted COVID-19 at work; unfortunately, proving that you were infected in the workplace can be extremely difficult, and these cases can be uphill battles. With that said, those who become infected while working in health care or in public safety may be able to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
If you have any questions or think you may have a viable COVID-19 personal injury case on your hands, feel free to reach out to the team at McLaurin Law.
Can a #COVID19 infection be addressed through a #personalinjury claim? #mclaurinlaw