According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have now lost their lives a result of the COVID-19. There are certain circumstances under which a person may have the legal right to file a claim against another person or entity for exposure to COVID-19. Learn more about your legal rights below.
A claim regarding exposure to COVID-19 would fall under personal injury law. In order to have a strong personal injury claim, you would need to prove the following elements:
- The person or entity had a legal duty and responsibility to you to protect you from COVID-19 exposure.
- The person breached their legal duty regarding protecting you from COVID-19 exposure
- You suffered actual exposure to COVID-19.
- The exposure to COVID-19 resulted in either actually contracting the COVID-19 virus. and/or suffering any other types of economic or non-economic damages.
In most cases, one human being does not have a legal duty to another human being regarding exposure to viruses. However, there have been cases regarding HIV, where someone knowingly and purposefully infected another person, resulting in a lawsuit. Given the fact that the laws in several areas now require people to wear masks and remain socially distant, an argument can be made that the failure to do so breaches a person’s legal duty and the requirement to ensure the safety of others with respect to COVID-19. Additionally, if an employer failed to provide proper safety equipment, you may have a legal right to bring a claim against your employer for your exposure and development of COVID-19.
While an argument can be made that a person has a legal duty to wear a mask and social distance themselves from others (or quarantine if they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus), the victim must prove that they received the exposure from this exact person. The evidence to do that may prove legally complex, as it is challenging to directly determine which person gave another person the COVID-19 virus conclusively. You may have the ability to prove causation if an employer failed to send home people who are sick, failed to provide protective equipment, or large gatherings were not appropriately canceled.
Exposure to COVID-19 is simply not enough to file a claim in a court of law. A victim must have suffered actual physical, psychological, or financial harm because of COVID-19 exposure.
To date, nearly 800 cases involving COVID-19 exposure have occurred and many of these claims are directly related to exposure issues and negligence of different parties. If you contracted COVID-19 as the result of someone else’s negligence, consider visiting with an experienced personal injury attorney today at The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-737-5886 or online who can work with you to help you understand your legal rights.