The worldwide pandemic involving the novel Coronavirus, or Covid-19, essentially caused society to come to a grinding halt. The rapid spread of the virus contributed to a global panic, and many measures were taken to stop the spread of infection. However, though governments issued orders and mandates to quell key causes for spreading the illness, many businesses and individuals did not obey these orders. This resulted in many more people getting sick when the chances would have been minimal. Deliberate exposure and a refusal to follow the rules of quarantine and social distancing have both contributed to hundreds of illnesses. Our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, recognizes that many individuals were harmed or contracted Covid-19 due to the negligent actions of others. We aim to recoup lost benefits and acquire damages for such injured individuals. Call our law offices today to discuss your case and to see how to move forward.
Covid-19, the novel coronavirus, originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019. It is classified as SARS-CoV-2, which stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. It is a variant of the virus that caused the initial SARS outbreak in 2008. The virus has no known vaccine as of yet, so it cannot be outright prevented. The most common and prevalent symptoms of Covid-19 include the following:
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Loss of taste
- Loss of smell
It is recommended that individuals who experience trouble breathing go to the hospital for treatment. Given the fact that hundreds of people were afflicted, many hospitals were unable to provide adequate testing and treatment. The panic increased the amount of people visiting hospitals.
The illness is primarily spread by the inhalation of droplets that are sneezed, coughed, spoken, and more. The presence of face masks is meant to mitigate the spread, both by those who do not have it (so as to avoid contracting it) and those who are positive for it (so as to avoid spreading it beyond themselves). Because the virus is so potent, social distancing and isolation have both been in effect.
Social distancing is the act of staying at least 6 feet apart and avoiding large gatherings of people. Many stores have placed markers to emphasize the distance that customers should keep from each other. Isolation is the act of staying at home for prolonged periods of time to avoid contracting the illness altogether.
It is highly recommended that everyone vigorously wash their hands to prevent the virus from spreading. You may have touched your face with the virus present on your fingers, or you may have touched a surface that had the virus atop it.
Individuals At Highest Risk of Coronavirus
The coronavirus is a highly infectious illness and can harm those who have compromised immune systems in some way. The most common victim of the virus is the elderly, as they are least likely to have the strongest immune systems (barring immunocompromised individuals) and often have other diseases afflicting them. The high mortality rate of elderly individuals can be partially explained by comorbidity and the tendency for the coronavirus to accelerate the progression of other illnesses.
Smokers, cancer patients, individuals with heart problems, AIDS victims, and more are all at increased risk of the coronavirus. For this reason, many facilities with these individuals have been extremely diligent. Nursing homes and hospitals have taken many precautions and measures to prevent the spread, but sadly, their efforts were largely in vain in the first few weeks. Some other facilities, though, may not have made any efforts. If a family member or loved one was injured or died due to the coronavirus at such a facility, you could pursue legal action.
If a loved one is in a hospital and has the coronavirus, it is a dangerous place to be. Many hospitals lack the necessary supplies to deal with the influx of cases, and some have had to forgo respirators and beds. If a loved one or family member dies in a hospital due to negligence from the staff, you could pursue legal action.
Legal Duties of Businesses
There are many businesses that did not adhere to the orders for isolation; some businesses that were deemed non-essential stayed open, and others that were deemed essential did not adequately protect customers (or even other workers). If a business did not protect its customers and they contracted coronavirus, there are ample grounds for lawsuits. Some examples include:
- Nursing facilities whose workers did not cover their faces or who did not take the complaints of residents seriously
- Hospitals that did not separate individuals or enact distance rules, leading to additional infections; alternatively, some hospitals did not perform proper treatments, turned victims away, or allowed the ill patients to contract other illnesses due to a lack of cleanliness and attention
- Grocery stores with workers who routinely handled food without gloves or masks, or situations where grocery stores required workers to come in even though they may have been exposed to the virus or were sick altogether
- Eateries and restaurants that did not have any workers wear gloves when they were preparing food, did not require customers to wear masks when they entered, did not require delivery drivers to wear protection when going out to deliver meals, and more
Businesses have a duty to not put anyone in harm’s way. Violation of this duty that resulted in acquisition of the coronavirus can be met with ample legal recourse.
Points of Negligence
The four points of negligence of personal injury cases must all be met if you wish to file a claim against a responsible party. These four points are as follows:
- You were owed a duty of care by the establishment or party
- The duty of care was breached in some way, whether intentionally or unintentionally
- The breach of duty led to an incident of some kind
- The incident resulted in physical harm
The troublesome part of these points with respect to Covid-19 is the identifying incident. If a person has gone to numerous stores in a day or has interacted with others, it can be very difficult to prove that one interaction in an establishment was the cause of the affliction.
If even one of these points is shown to be untrue, the entire claim will fall apart. This is why it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney for legal assistance. If you have not ever filed a lawsuit before or if you do not know the ins and outs of the law, it will be detrimental if you try to deal with the claim yourself. Compiling evidence, submitting the claim, negotiating with insurance agencies, and recognizing a worthwhile offer is not something the inexperienced can effectively do.
Evidence of Negligence Leading to Coronavirus
To sue for acquisition of coronavirus or injuries stemming from the illness, you will need sufficient evidence on your side. This evidence can be gathered in a number of ways. You should be sure to collect the following:
- Video and photo evidence, if possible, of the bad practices, illegal activities, or reckless endangerment of customers carried out by any establishment’s workers
- Documented proof of your medical diagnosis showing that you contracted Covid-19
- Eyewitness reports and testimonies from anyone who was also present when the practices were going on or who were also affected by the illness from the same source
- Receipts, documents, or any other form of written proof
Too often, individuals will avoid going to the doctor because of the high costs of medical bills or because they do not feel ill enough to warrant a trip. It is highly recommended to go if you feel seriously ill, as Covid-19 can have intensely negative effects on your health. To make matters worse, if you do not go to the doctor, you will not have any proof that you were suffering from the illness. The longer you wait, as well, the more difficult it will be to show that you were exposed to the illness in a particular establishment or interaction.
Earnings from a Coronavirus Lawsuit
Suing an establishment for contracting coronavirus can result in a fair amount of compensation. You should not be expected to pay off the various debts and expenses if you were ill due to the negligence of another party. We will make sure that you receive every cent you deserve, including:
- Medical bills from the past and future for treatment, surgery, hospitalization, ambulatory transportation, and more
- Lost income from the time you were unable to work or could not return to work, including loss of benefits, loss of tips and commissions, and more
- Property damage if any items were lost in the incident
- Pain and suffering damages to account for emotional trauma, anxiety, fear, PTSD, and other psychological damages
- Punitive damages if the establishment were particularly negligent or intentionally exposed you to the virus, which can result in copious amounts of monetary damages but are difficult to win – many courts view these damages as excessive, so only a skilled attorney will be able to secure them for your case
- Wrongful death damages if the coronavirus led to the death of a loved one or family member, which can include funeral and burial fees, pre-death medical bills and pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of savings and inheritance, and more
The amount of damages you can receive may be higher than expected if you work with a lawyer. It is our job to win you the maximum amount of compensation available for your case. We will not allow the insurance company to capitalized on a low or poor offer; we will negotiate until we are satisfied that your bills and expenses are fully covered.
Statute of Limitations to Sue for Coronavirus
In California, there is a 2-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. If you do not file a lawsuit within that time period, you will not be able to receive any compensation in the future. It is recommended that you gather your evidence immediately upon noticing the injury, but we know that it can be difficult to do so if symptoms do not show up for a few days and you are too weak to do much else besides rest.
There are a few ways for the statute of limitations to be extended beyond the 2-year deadline. This is common in scenarios where the individual is under the age of 18 years old; the statute would be delayed until he turns legal age. Further, those left incapacitated, whether mentally or physically, cannot file lawsuits in their states, so the statute would be suspended until they return to health.
You shouldn’t hesitate to take legal action. The sooner you act, the more likely it is that your evidence will be preserved and not lost, and that any involved eyewitnesses will accurately remember the incident. If you are uncertain of how much time you have left to sue, you can contact our law offices and we will determine the accurate date of your statute of limitations.
The Best Firm in Town
The Downtown LA Law Group is one of the premier law firms in Los Angeles. We have years of experience in personal injury law and we are well versed in medical malpractice, premises liability, and more. With the novel coronavirus causing the world to break out in a panic, we believe that businesses and companies should not contribute in any way. They should protect their employees and customers at all costs, and if they breach their duties, they should be appropriately punished. Victims should be given the fairest compensation available and should not be expected to suffer financially because of the errors of the companies.
To set up a legal consultation, call our law offices today. All consultations are totally free, and none of your private details will be shared elsewhere. We are always confidential with our clients, and we will never turn you away to discuss your case. We will also give you our zero fee guarantee – that is, you will not have to pay a dime of your own money throughout the case. We will cover all the fees and expenses, and if we win, our payment will come from the settlement we bring you. If we lose, we do not take any money at all, and we eat the costs of the case ourselves.
If you already have legal representation but you are not satisfied with your current representative, we welcome you to come to us for a free second opinion. We will look over your case details and tell you everything we believe that can happen with your case, as well as what we can do for you. If we think your current lawyer is not performing his duties or if he is neglecting your claim, we will tell you. Often, attorneys will try to take on numerous cases and reach quick settlements for fast money and leave their clients without the compensation they deserve. We do not condone this, and if you want to move, there are no fees to switch to our firm.
Contact the Downtown LA Law Group today if you wish to file a lawsuit against an establishment after contracting coronavirus or suffering from Covid-19.