Personal Injury Lawsuits In the Time of Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

There is no denying that the coronavirus pandemic is destroying — at least temporarily — many of the things we love about America: our freedom, our social lives, our ability to purchase as much toilet paper as we wish.

Of course, it’s also destroying lives — literally.

If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19, and feel that they were infected through no fault of their own, but rather because someone else was negligent when it came to safety standards, what can you do? Let’s take a look.

How We Got Here

One of the most maddening aspects of the novel coronavirus is the fact that it is highly contagious — much more so than the ordinary flu. While many of us have been following six-foot social distancing guidelines, experts are now saying that even more distance might be necessary. The droplets caused by a sneeze or cough that carry the virus could extend further than we think.

Another frustrating thing about it? It’s changing rapidly. What infectious disease experts understood about coronavirus back in March is much different than our current understanding of it. For example, it wasn’t all that long ago that medical professionals thought that masks were unnecessary in slowing the transmission of the disease. Today, of course, we know better. The shifting realities of coronavirus and COVID-19 would be a huge problem even if people were staying up-to-date on the information being disseminated by health officials — which they aren’t.

Yet one more major factor in the frighteningly rapid spread of this disease is the fact that people can be infected by and transmit the virus well before they are symptomatic.

Negligence and Coronavirus

All of these factors add up to a perfect storm of infection that’s been raging for weeks, even months in some places. And although there are plenty of people who are doing their social duty and following best practices, many others aren’t. That leaves room for negligence — and for personal injury lawsuits.

What is negligence, legally speaking? Well, it means that people owe each other. Doctors owe patients conscientious care that is intended to help and heal them. Supermarket managers owe customers a safe environment, free of spills that might cause slip and fall accidents or an atmosphere where sick employees could potentially infect one another.

When someone hasn’t lived up to a duty such as these, it may be possible to prove that they were negligent. That’s the job of Los Angeles personal injury lawyers, like those who work at The Barnes Firm ( and attorneys across the nation.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

Is it possible for you to sue another party for negligence in a coronavirus case? So far, it’s unprecedented — but that does not mean it’s impossible. All it means is that it’s early days for this kind of legal situation. If you were infected because of a situation at your job that can be proved to have been unsafe, you may have a worker’s compensation case. Or, for example, if you were treated by a medical professional who wasn’t taking proper hygiene and safety precautions, there may be a medical malpractice case in the making.

Even though communities around the country are remaining on lockdown, attorneys are taking calls and video calls to answer your questions. There is no need to wait until the pandemic subsides to find out about your legal rights, and to consult with a lawyer who can help you decide whether a personal injury lawyer is right for you.

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