CAN YOU MAKE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM BASED ON COVID-19?
“While the novel coronavirus surges through the U.S., many people will continue to suffer injuries in car accidents, slips and falls, and other ordinary events,” explains Justia.com, adding that personal injury cases may not be resolved as efficiently as would be true under normal conditions, “since the court system has been largely shut down until the emergency ends”.
So true, as I wrote about last month in my Ramey & Hailey blog post “Sooner or Later for Virus-delayed Jury Trials”. Although many personal injury cases are settled before going to court, jury shutdowns have slowed down the entire process of seeking justice for victims.
Today, however, I want to address another crucial COVID-19-related question: Can one file a personal injury claim based on damage caused by the coronavirus itself? The answer: It depends…
“Most personal injury claims are based on a legal theory called negligence,” Justia.com reminds readers, “which means that a person or a business did not use the appropriate care under the circumstances.” In other words, one cannot sue a disease!
On the other hand, if it can be shown that:
- a nursing home
- a hospital
- an employer
failed to take reasonable precautions to protect its residents/patients/employees from infection, that institution’s owners and management can be sued under personal injury law.
And, while new proposals are being discussed in the U.S. Senate addressing liability issues in COVID-19 patient care, as the National Law Review reports, at Ramey & Hailey Law, we continue to offer help to family members of victims of neglect and abuse. We do not waver in our efforts to hold the owners and managers of facilities where neglect and abuse have taken place legally liable.
There are legal challenges to be overcome, but the bottom line is: Yes, you CAN make a personal injury claim based on COVID-19.