Coronavirus & Personal Injury Lawsuits

Coronavirus & Personal Injury Lawsuits

by / Friday, 15 May 2020 / Published in Personal Injury

The coronavirus pandemic is a very unusual time in history and it’s only natural to have questions about what’s currently going on in the world or what could potentially happen because of all of this later on. Every aspect of society has been affected by the coronavirus and that includes legal matters.

The coronavirus hasn’t just brought on a bunch of new regulations about how we all need to live our lives as things begin to reopen, it’s brought up several questions about legal liability. For example, businesses like restaurants and movie theaters will need to plan ahead for how they will mitigate potential spread of the virus once they are able to start operating again. With those types of potential liability issues in mind, one question a lot of people are wondering about is whether or not they could file a personal injury lawsuit if they come down with coronavirus.

Personal injury lawsuits rely heavily on the concept of negligence, meaning an illness or injury was caused by someone knowing that a hazard could cause harm to someone, but failed to take reasonable measures to protect people from being harmed. This is true whether you’re injured in a place of business, like a grocery store, or while visiting a private residence.

This means that if you caught coronavirus from a person, your case would need to prove that the person knew or should have reasonably suspected that they could be contagious, whether it’s through a positive test, exposure to someone who had tested positive, or by showing symptoms consistent with coronavirus. If a person meeting any of those criteria disregards all guidance to self-isolate or comes in contact with others without warning them that they could be contagious, it could potentially be considered negligent. Another example of potential negligence would be if a business allowed an employee to come to work, knowing they had either tested positive or could be contagious, allowing the virus to spread to other employees or customers.

One big challenge any lawsuit over contracting coronavirus would face is proving that the virus was contracted in a specific location or from a specific person. Since it is possible for people to have the virus and be contagious without showing symptoms, it can be difficult to tell precisely where a person came into contact with the virus.

The coronavirus pandemic has unquestionably brought a lot of uncertainty into the world, along with some complications for the legal system. If you’ve been injured during the coronavirus pandemic and aren’t sure what the outbreak means for your case, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer for help. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from Michigan-based lawyers experienced in handling a wide range of personal injury cases. Contact us today with questions about your case.

Image: iStock / inkoly

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