The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented in many ways. A vaccine may not be available for a year or longer, and, until that time, the coronavirus will continue to impact every facet of our society in different ways. Businesses will need to implement long-term adjustments to unpredictable stay-at-home policies and social distancing guidelines, while hospitals will need to endure waves of potentially overwhelming outbreaks.
Another area of uncertainty is the legal system. Can someone hold another person or entity responsible for contracting the coronavirus? The answer to this question can be pivotal, especially for those who have lost their jobs or become inundated with medical bills.
Negligence in a COVID-19 Claim
If you contract the coronavirus, whether you may be entitled to compensation will depend on any evidence of negligence. This negligence may have occurred at your workplace, in which your employer failed to take certain precautions and protect employees from unnecessary exposure. Alternatively, the negligence may have occurred at a hospital, where a healthcare professional failed to provide the treatment you needed. It could even have occurred at a business, where you purchased a product or service and caught COVID-19 because they failed to follow certain protocol.
Unfortunately, this area of law is virtually uncharted. Civil courts may view the pandemic differently than a standard illness or injury. As businesses and governments alike struggle to navigate this uncertain terrain, it can be difficult to predict with 100% accuracy what may be the result of a COVID-19 personal injury claim.
That said, certain factors may elevate your likelihood of success. If your goal is to obtain compensation because of another party’s negligence, you will need to have thorough documentation of that negligence.
This evidence may include:
- Photographs of unsafe conditions
- Communications between employers or HR representatives and employees
- Temporary workplace policies
- Video footage of poorly followed (or unfollowed) protocol
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records and diagnoses
The more evidence you have, the better equipped you will be to present a convincing argument to the court. If you succeed, you may secure compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Furthermore, many local and state governments have issued orders compelling businesses to either shut down or adjust their operations. Even as these orders have lifted or become less restrictive, mayors and governors have emphasized the responsibility of businesses to protect their customers and employees. If a business fails to follow these orders and guidelines, injured parties may have more substantial grounds to file suit.
Ultimately, the potential outcome of your case will depend on your unique circumstances and a broad variety of factors. You will need guidance from a qualified professional to determine whether you have a viable claim.
Bring Your Case to Our Team
At US Legal Group, APC, we are here to support you during these uncertain times. We can assess your situation to determine whether another party’s negligence may have substantially increased your likelihood of contracting the coronavirus. If so, we may be able to pursue damages. We understand how much stress you may be facing as a result of the pandemic, and we are ready to put our skills and experience to work for you.