The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to dominate the news cycle. As residents of California, including the local Long Beach area, are being told to shelter in place, many people are wondering if these measures are coming just a little bit too late. Some people are still being told to go to work because they are considered essential personnel. With this in mind, there are still risks that someone could contract this dangerous virus. Can someone file a personal injury lawsuit against someone for allegedly infecting them with this virus?
When someone is asking questions about personal injury lawsuits, lawyers typically like to support the case using facts and statistics; however, there is nothing in the past that comes anywhere close to comparing to the coronavirus pandemic. The global death toll in the coronavirus pandemic seems to be changing every minute. Therefore, whether or not someone would be able to file a successful coronavirus personal injury lawsuit is going to depend on that person’s individual situation.
All personal injury lawsuits, including those related to COVID-19, are going to come down to proving two separate points. First, the individual will have to prove that he or she suffered financial, physical, emotional, or mental harm stemming from infection with COVID-19. This might include medical bills relating to hospital stays and surgical procedures, evidence of emotional distress stemming from visits to a mental health provider, and financial damage following missed time from work. According to The May Firm, “When someone suffers a personal injury, they are at their most vulnerable,” which is why everyone needs to take appropriate precautions regarding COVID-19.
The second point someone will have to prove is that the harm someone has suffered from infection with coronavirus is directly related to the actions (or inaction) of another party. For example, somebody might think about filing a lawsuit against a cruise line that wasn’t properly disinfected, leading to countless coronavirus infections among passengers and employees. If the lawsuit could prove that the cruise line should have done more to prevent coronavirus infections and these infections led to physical, financial, or emotional distress for those infected, individuals might have a case.
Right now, it is important for individuals and businesses to stay in the loop when it comes to coronavirus infections. CA has issued shelter in place orders. These guidelines are strict and people need to follow them. Furthermore, people need to get their information from credible sources such as the CDC and WHO. Finally, individuals need to make sure they wash their hands regularly and follow social distancing guidelines. It is critical for everyone to take measures to stay safe. Remember that one person’s actions are going to have direct impacts on the health and safety of those around them, including those most vulnerable to infection with COVD-19.