The context of this article doesn’t really need much of an introduction considering the fact that we are all enduring a global epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives worldwide and has essentially halted the vast majorities of the world’s economies. Even when many sources claim that we’ve weathered far deadlier outbreaks than the Coronavirus, the true danger of the virus lies in its rate of transmission.
This high transmission rate of the virus is the primary reason why community-wide quarantines are strictly enforced, especially when there are people who are highly-susceptible to the virus. It may not harm you, but it might harm someone that’s close to you.
Now that we’ve established the danger that the virus poses, you might correctly assume that if someone were to willfully infect you, that would put you and your family in significant harm.
So, can you sue someone for infecting you with the Coronavirus?
The Simple Answer: Yes.
Yes, if someone knowingly infects you with the CoronaVirus or fails to take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them. However, there are a few facts that you need to be able to prove if your personal injury claim is to be deemed valid.
As with all personal injury claims, negligence is the primary determinant of whether a claim is deemed valid. In the context of communicable diseases, there are four elements that the claimant needs to establish in order to validate his claim. These elements are:
That the defendant must have had a duty to provide reasonable care to the injured party. While it is assumed that everyone holds that duty, establishments and professionals are held to higher standards of care because of the fact that they are accorded the public’s trust.
That there must have been a breach of that duty in the failure to implement reasonable measures that would have prevented transmission.
That the negligent act must have been the direct cause of the claimant’s injuries. It should go without saying that if the actions did not directly cause the claimant’s infection, the claimant cannot sue the defendant.
Finally, the claimant must have damages to claim. Damages can come in the form of emotional, occupational damages, psychological damages, loss of income, etc. This is an important detail for the court to consider because this is what determines if the claim is worth hearing. Consider the possibility that the case itself, along with the attorney’s fees might cost more than the actual damages that the court could award, in which case pursuing the claim will be counterproductive to all parties involved.
If someone’s negligence has caused you to suffer an infectious disease and all the damages it causes, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to help you with your case. This is not just to ensure that you are able to claim compensation for the trouble you’ve been put through, but it also ensures that the defendant learns a lesson – that if you are aware that you are carrying a communicable disease, you have the responsibility to inform people you interact with frequently.