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Does COVID-19 Constitute a Personal Injury Claim?

The COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak has devastated the United States. Americans are reeling from the physical and economic suffering related to the virus. Contracting the virus may mean a long road ahead for medical care and pain and suffering.

As victims struggle to fight the virus, they may wonder about their rights. They may think about whether they can bring a personal injury claim because they contracted COVID-19. While the answer is complex, it may be possible in some cases to bring a personal injury lawsuit for damages relating to COVID-19. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys explain whether you can bring a legal claim for compensation from contracting COVID-19.
Couple Walking With COVID-19

Can You Bring a Lawsuit if You Get COVID-19?

The simple answer is yes. You may be able to bring a lawsuit if you get COVID-19. You may have legal grounds to claim financial compensation if you get COVID-19.

COVID-19 may constitute a personal injury claim. The general rule of personal injury law is that you have a claim when you are hurt because of the negligence of another party. In the case of COVID-19, it may be challenging to prove how you contracted the virus and that it is the other party’s fault. However, if you’re able to show how you got COVID-19 because of the negligent actions of a person or company, COVID-19 may constitute a personal injury claim.

What Do I Have to Prove in a COVID-19 Personal Injury Case?

Florida has negligence laws. The laws allow victims to bring a civil claim when they’re hurt because of the actions of others. To have a valid lawsuit, you must prove the elements of negligence that are required in every civil case:

  1. Duty – The party responsible for you getting COVID-19 had a duty of care to protect your safety.
  2. Breach of Duty – The responsible party failed to take reasonable actions in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
  3. Causation – Because of the failure to exercise reasonable care, you contracted COVID-19.
  4. Damages – You have damages, such as the costs of medical treatment and physical pain and suffering.

On the most basic level, the answer is yes, you may be able to bring a lawsuit if you get COVID-19. There are some circumstances in which a victim would be able to prove all of these elements in order to receive compensation.

Example of COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuit

For example, you or a loved one may have contracted COVID-19 while living in a nursing home. If you never leave the nursing home, there’s no doubt that you picked up the virus in the facility. You can investigate how this might have occurred with the help of an experienced Coronavirus personal injury attorney. 

Perhaps the home didn’t take sufficient care to sanitize when the severity of the outbreak became known. They may not have required employees to take adequate precautions or put the precautions in place too late. Maybe they allowed known COVID-19 patients to enter the home to increase their profits. Another cause of the virus spread could have been failing to isolate sick patients.

When you can pinpoint how you got COVID-19, and trace it to the negligence of the party responsible, you may be able to bring a lawsuit. Your attorney can assist you by leading the investigation to determine if the actions of the responsible person or party amount to legal negligence. Some of the scenarios where you may be able to prove the reason you contracted COVID-19 include:

  • Contracting while in a nursing home
  • Receiving care in a hospital
  • Serving a sentence in jail
  • Working in an essential job during the crisis

If you can pinpoint the cause of your receiving COVID-19, it becomes possible to explore a personal injury lawsuit. 

In addition to showing how the victim contracts COVID-19, you must also show that the party responsible didn’t take enough steps to prevent it. The defendant has to have failed to do the minimum requirements to protect others. In the case of neglect in a nursing home, hospital or place of business, it means they didn’t implement reasonable safety protocols or responsive action. When you can demonstrate all of the elements of negligence, you can sustain a legal case for compensation based on COVID-19.

Proving the Elements of COVID-19 Is a Difficult Task

Florida law gives victims the path to bringing a personal injury claim by proving the elements of negligence. However, it’s challenging to prove each of the factors necessary for the Coronavirus or any contagious disease. Because the virus can’t be seen without a microscope, it’s impossible to physically see the virus being spread. Tracking the spread of the virus is a difficult task.

However, it would be incorrect to say that victims can never sustain a legal claim for contracting COVID-19. There are certainly some victims who can support a claim for COVID-19. However, some victims may have difficulty proving all of the elements of negligence without being able to trace the spread of the virus with each transmission.

An Individual Case Review Is Needed to Determine Your Rights

The best way to know if COVID-19 constitutes a personal injury case is to review the individual merits of the case. Some COVID-19 victims have a valid personal injury case; others do not. In order to know if you have the legal grounds present to receive compensation, it’s critical to look at what exactly happened in that case. 

Even if most people don’t have grounds to bring a legal claim, you might. It’s essential to review the specific facts of the case and evaluate the law against those facts. Many victims can sustain COVID-19 cases. For those victims, justice and financial relief are appropriate and necessary. Conducting a personalized case review is the only way to know if you’re one of the victims who has a case.

Tampa Attorneys for COVID-19 Personal Injury Cases

If you want to know if you have a valid COVID-19 personal injury case, we invite you to call our legal team. Our attorneys offer individual case reviews for all personal injury cases, including COVID-19. When you need answers, we offer compassionate legal representation. We provide educated, honest information about your case and your options. Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys today for your consultation.

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

For more than 37 years, personal injury lawyer Jack G. Bernstein has protected the rights of individuals who have been injured in a variety of circumstances. Mr. Bernstein is a member of the Florida State Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association and the Clearwater Bar Association.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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