Personal Injury Claims Following the Coronavirus Outbreak
As governors across the nation slowly begin reopening their respective state economies, many establishments, businesses, and organizations face potential tort claims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total amount of new coronavirus cases in the United States have already surpassed 2 million, with a total of over 100,000 deaths.
The novel Coronavirus has indisputably caused a global crisis on many different levels. Even as the number of cases continue to climb, more and more states begin their reopening process. Although there is a sense of urgency to reopen businesses to stimulate the hurting economy, there are legal issues that will arise as a result of public health concerns.
Tort Claims Amidst a Global Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established guidelines, and in support of government action, businesses can attempt to safely reopen their establishments. Guidelines, such as the wearing of face masks and social distancing, help customers feel at ease. Regardless, there are growing concerns of establishments that fail to take proper precautions and ultimately result in unnecessary coronavirus exposure.
Among the growing list of establishments that have failed to properly address safety concerns are nursing homes and cruise ships. Victims who have suffered damages as a result of carelessness on behalf of these establishments may be able to seek monetary compensation.
A business that has failed to take reasonable measures to protect people may face potential liability. When a person has become infected after visiting a business, it may be possible to recover damages by filing a claim that suggests the establishment did not do enough to prevent exposure to the virus.
California’s Supreme Court suggests that individuals can file a lawsuit for negligence as it pertains to the novel coronavirus. In order to have a successful case, the plaintiff will need to prove the following with regard to the defendant:
- The accused party had a duty to prevent the negligent transmission of the virus. As it pertains to California’s Civil Code §1714(a), when it comes to obligations imposed by the law, everyone has a responsibility for his or her willful actions and for the injuries inflicted to others.
- The accused party has breached their duty of care. In order to establish liability for the damages, California courts will analyze the degree of certainty the victim suffered damages, the relation between the accused party’s actions and the injuries sustained, and the policies enacted to prevent future injuries. Also considered is the morality of the accused party’s conduct and how imposing the duty to exercise adequate care would affect the general community.
Proving a Case
In order to find a party liable for damages, the plaintiff will need to demonstrate that the party knew of the virus and that it was transmissible in the establishment. A California civil court will investigate if the accused party took any reasonable precautions to avoid the transmission of an infectious disease, such as following imposed health guidelines.
Although proving causation can be difficult, proving that a business could have taken adequate precautions is likely not as challenging.
Speak to a Well-Versed Attorney
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have reason to believe that another’s negligent actions or inactions caused your exposure to the virus, contact the support of a skilled personal injury attorney.
Personal injury attorney Scot T. Moga has many years of dedicated experience handling some of the most complex personal injury claims in California. With over 20 years of experience, Attorney Moga can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.