The Vastness of the Law

Questioning Nature: Is Being Hospitalized With COVID-19 A Personal Injury Case?

You're injured by a virus through no fault of your own, put on a ventilator before getting better a couple of weeks later, and released from the hospital. It's determined that you likely contracted the virus at a party. Do you have a personal injury case, and who would it be against?

Defining Personal Injury

An "injury to body, mind or emotions" is Cornell School of Law's Legal Information Institute's definition of personal injury. This excludes property. So if it's determined that you caught COVID-19 at a party, would that party host be held liable? Or is it an "act of God?" How exactly would you define an act of God?

Defining an Act of God

Legally, every state defines an act of God differently. Some states define it as an inherent act of nature that is uncontrollable. Natural disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and pandemics would generally qualify as acts of God. However, the COVID-19 pandemic didn't affect you until a person passed the virus to you at the party you attended.

Some Defining Questions

Now that you have both definitions, there are some questions that your attorney might pose to determine whether you have a personal injury case.

The big question is did COVID-19 cease to be in nature and become a personal injury threat to either your body, mind or emotions? What kinds of damages could you seek should your case be deemed a personal injury case?

Why Seek Monetary Damages?

Hospital stays and loss of income are costly damages to a person's way of life. There's no guarantee that you will receive federal aid or that your hospital will waive some of its fees. There's also no guarantee that you will regain any loss of income or keep your job.

So what kind of damages would you seek if you were eligible to seek them? Compensation for your hospital stay and loss of income would be a start. Would it be against the party host or against all the guests at the party? You probably wouldn't know who carried the virus that affected you as some carriers are totally asymptomatic. You carry the burden of proof.

While it may be determined that you could have grounds for a precedent-setting personal injury case, the final question might be yours: would you seek damages against friends at the party?

To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area like those at Wolfe  Jones Wolfe Hancock Daniel & South LLC.