Have you recently been involved in an accident like a road accident, or a slip-and-fall accident? Or, do you believe that the nursing home, or hospital, where a beloved family member died from the respiratory illness linked to the coronavirus, should be held responsible for the death? If so, what possibilities are available to seek financial retribution for the injuries or death caused by perceived negligence?
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following points.
The COVID-19 pandemic: Setting the scene
Without going into too much detail, the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was first seen in China during the last days of 2019. It has since spread rapidly across the world causing at least 4.36 million infections and 311,843 deaths. It is important to note that this virus is incredibly contagious, so these numbers change on an hourly or daily basis.
One of the only ways of controlling its rampant spread is self-isolation or social distancing. Thus, over 50% of the world’s population is currently under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown order.
There has been and continues to be much discussion about treating the respiratory illness and other symptoms linked to the coronavirus. The challenge is that scientists and medical professionals do not know enough about this virus’s behavior to do much else than treat its symptoms while waiting for people to fight off the potentially fatal effects.
Also, because it is so contagious, it can spread rapidly through close-knit communities, hospitals, and nursing homes. And as the Atlanta personal injury attorney notes, there is also a fine line between negligence when treating individuals and communities of high-risk people being overwhelmed by the virus.
The basis of, and substance to, a personal injury claim
Personal injury claims are based on a “legal theory called negligence.” In other words, the person deemed responsible for the personal injury did not display the necessary care to prevent the injury. And, to successfully bring a claim against a defendant, the plaintiff (victim) must prove that they would not have been injured had the defendant acted appropriately at the time of the incident.
Consequently, it is best to treat each personal injury case on an individual basis. While the civil law is very clear on what constitutes a personal injury, the challenge is proving that the individual who was responsible for the victim’s injury was negligent in their behavior.
Let’s use the example mentioned above, of the nursing home where the COVID-19 virus spread rapidly through its residents and resulting in the death of a substantial number of residents. While the tragedy of the loss of life cannot and must not be downplayed, the person or plaintiff filing the personal injury claim against the nursing home must prove that the nursing home failed to take reasonable precautions to protect its residents from contracting the virus.
Therefore, before going through the motions of filing a claim in the civil court, it is important to consult with a personal injury specialist attorney to examine the veracity of the claim. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing an expensive lawsuit that, unfortunately, did not have any merit in filing.