The basis of personal injury claims is negligence. You have a valid claim against someone if that person is responsible for your injury and could have been prevented under appropriate care. So you cannot hold someone liable if you contract an infectious disease such as flu.
How about COVID? Obviously, proving the exact source of exposure can be difficult, however, COVID may fall under different circumstances. If you were exposed to a pandemic and the person clearly did not exercise due care, then you may hold someone responsible for contracting this dangerous infection. Here are some situations that indicate a valid claim.
A patient exposed to COVID-19 infection due to the negligence of a hospital or clinic may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the provider or facility.
However, you can expect the case to be more complicated than a conventional medical malpractice claim. There is a need to prove non-adherence to the very specific standard of care to be followed for protection against the pandemic.
In these cases, you will also require an expert to testify that you acquired infection due to the provider’s negligence. The case may get even more complex because some states have implemented laws for immunizing health care providers from liability for ordinary negligence with respect to COVID-19.
Obviously, you need to have a legal expert to handle these implications. Apart from hospital-acquired infections, nursing home negligence also comes under the coverage of medical malpractice claims related to COVID-19.
Cruise Ship Liability
Another incidence of COVID-related personal injury cases is that of passengers contracting it on cruise ships. In fact, several such claims emerged during the initial days of the pandemic.
Proving an injury claim against the cruise ship company is possible if you can show that they did not take reasonable precautions for the prevention of the spread of the infection in passengers on board.
Again, the law gets quite complicated in cruise ship cases because they usually have specific restrictions on potential claims in the contract itself. The smartest way to deal with a major corporation is by having a seasoned personal injury lawyer representing your case.
The Future of COVID-19 litigation
COVID-19 litigation is far more complex than the regular personal injury cases caused by the negligence of a business or medical facility. An employee who contracts the virus in the workplace, for example, may have a tough time proving the employer’s negligence that resulted in infection.
However, those working in the healthcare sector or holding a public safety job, such as a police officer or a firefighter, may have a claim for recovering workers’ compensation benefits in case of infection.
Similarly, enforcing social distancing at the workplace is going to be a part of the reasonable standard of care that business owners need to follow to avoid being held liable for negligence. In fact, the list of practices that are a part of the new standard of care is expected to expand as the pandemic grows.
Considering that there are chances of contracting the infection at a hospital, workplace, or business location, you need to be aware of the law and the protection it offers. The best thing to do is seek guidance from an expert injury lawyer.