COVID19, the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or novel coronavirus, has turned the world upside down, impacting hundreds of thousands through medical injury and death in America. While you cannot file a personal injury claim for getting the virus, you may be able to prove COVID19 negligence played a role in increasing the chance that you did contract the virus.
COVID19 Negligence Cases
With personal injury claims, many are based on the legal theory related to negligence, which means that a person or a business did not use the appropriate care, or provide the proper treatment under a specific circumstance or situation. Negligence may be the factor in how you contracted the coronavirus, or in why your symptoms worsened. Legal guidance can determine if you have a negligence claim related to the COVID19 virus.
Types of COVID19 Negligence
While personal injury cases do not typically come from contracting an infectious disease, such as the COVID19 virus, there may be situations where a negligence claim may be brought against a person, hospital, or business, based on the circumstances related to a diagnosis of the coronavirus. Examples of these types of negligence claims include:
- Nursing Home Negligence: Evidence may show that a nursing home failed to take reasonable precautions to protect its residents from COVID19, failed to take adequate safety measures that promoted the spread of the disease, or failed to take an adequate response to an outbreak in the community. The nursing home and staff may have not adequately cleaned or disinfected, informed residents of risk, or not instituted proper quarantine procedures. In May 2020, Georgia was granted some protection from COVID19 liability under the law, however, it does not pertain to liability from gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
- Cruise Ship Liability: A personal injury claim related to the coronavirus may be made if the cruise ship company failed to take reasonable precautions to protect the passenger’s safety. The crew may have failed to take adequate precautions to identify infected passengers, separate those suspected or with confirmed illness within a reasonable time, failed to take adequate cleaning and disinfecting procedures, or did not properly inform passengers of the risks.
- Exposure at the Workplace: If the employee contracts COVID19 at work, especially if they work in a health care setting, or hold a public safety job, they will most likely not have a COVID19 personal injury claim. They would however benefit from legal direction in filing for workers’ compensation or other legal alternatives available to them. Workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease, such as COVID19, are usually only available if the employee contracted the disease while working, and the nature of their job put them at higher risk than the general population, which is true for health care and public safety workers.
- Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice claims are not the same as an ordinary personal injury claim as they involve a more specific standard of care. If a person was exposed to the COVID19 virus through negligence at a hospital or medical care facility, a claim may be brought against them. While recent laws have been enacted to protect health care facilities and providers from ordinary COVID19 negligence, consultation with a qualified personal injury lawyer is the best first step in determining if you have a viable case and claim.
COVID19 Personal Injury Attorney
If you believe COVID19 negligence caused illness or death, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Make the call to attorney Joel Baskin for a confidential and compassionate consultation of your situation.