As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country, Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about protecting their legal rights. And for good reason. Business owners are struggling financially and employers are laying off workers in record numbers. Governments are making decisions about their communities that have far-reaching consequences for everyone. People are turning to the legal community for advice and counsel.
Searcy Denney law is following developments in our South Florida community and throughout the state. As more and more families face the reality of infection, it’s more important than ever to understand your rights as a citizen, as a patient, and as an employee during the coronavirus crisis.
Can coronavirus victims sue for personal injury/illness?
The circumstances surrounding each COVID-19 case is unique, so there is no one answer to the question of whether COVID-19 victims have a cause of action for personal injury. Our COVID-19 personal injury lawyers will look at your circumstances and determine (1) how you became exposed to the illness (2) the extent of your illness and (3) whether “all reasonable measures” were taken to prevent your exposure to the virus.
What other types of coronavirus lawsuits are possible?
The legal implications of the coronavirus extend beyond personal injury claims. Family, business, insurance and employment lawyers are facing an influx in coronavirus-related questions. We’ve seen reports for lawsuits related to price gouging, false claims, securities and general negligence.
A negligence lawsuit alleges that an entity, like a cruise ship, hospital, business or even government office, didn’t take “all reasonable measures” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What happens if I contract COVID-19 while receiving treatment for an ongoing case?
You should avoid the hospital and doctor’s offices during the coronavirus outbreak. Hospitals are making room for emergency COVID-19 treatment and it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid emergency rooms unless critically necessary.
If you’re admitted to the hospital for a reason other than coronavirus and you believe you contracted coronavirus during your stay, consult with a COVID-19 personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Can I be liable for getting someone else sick with coronavirus?
You could possibly be liable for giving someone else coronavirus. However, it would be difficult to establish liability. For a COVID-19 personal injury claim to be successful you need to prove that the defendant (in this example, the person who got you sick) (1) did something wrong (2) that the something they did wrong caused your sickness.
We all know and understand that COVID-19 is highly contagious from one person to another via objects and droplets. As such, it will be difficult – in most cases – to prove you contracted the disease from one certain person.
While a civil lawsuit for spreading coronavirus might not be likely, it’s possible to face civil and criminal penalties if you violate laws meant to protect the public and “flatten the curve.” In Florida, a failure to observe stay-at-home orders, business closures, and other health-related orders is a second-degree misdemeanor.