The coronavirus pandemic has created many challenges, and some people are uncertain regarding their rights and obligations under Florida laws and orders issued by state and local governments.
In many situations, there are conflicting sources of information, and it can be difficult to determine which rules apply. Thus, anyone with questions regarding his or her legal options during the coronavirus pandemic should consult an attorney.
Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Gregg M. Hollander assists victims in the pursuit of compensation, and he is available to answer questions that you may have regarding your rights. The Hollander Law Firm represents people in personal injury lawsuits in South Florida from offices in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.
Can I Still File a Lawsuit During the Pandemic?
People who have suffered injuries for reasons unrelated to the pandemic, before or after the pandemic began, can still seek damages for their harm via a civil lawsuit. Many of the courts throughout Florida are closed, which means that the case may proceed at a slower pace than usual. Certain aspects of the case will remain the same, however, since discovery can still be exchanged while maintaining social distancing, and depositions can be conducted via remote means.
Will the Pandemic Affect the Value of My Case?
Several factors affect the value of a case, including the economic harm suffered by the plaintiff and the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. One element of economic harm is the cost of medical treatment. During the pandemic, most non-essential treatment appointments have been canceled, so many patients are not receiving the treatment that they need to heal from their injuries.
This not only delays recovery but also can make it difficult to ascertain the extent of a person’s harm, and it may diminish the economic damages recoverable in a civil lawsuit. As a result, plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits should refrain from accepting any settlement offers until after the effects of the pandemic have receded to prevent their cases from being undervalued.
Do I Need to Comply with State and Local Orders?
Anyone ordered to remain at home or take protective measures by a state or local order must comply with the order. Compliance is necessary to protect your health, and it is critical to slowing and stopping the spread of the disease. In many instances, people can be cited for criminal violations for failing to abide by an order.
Can I Seek Damages Based on Exposure to the Coronavirus?
People who have contracted COVID-19 may be able to seek damages in certain cases. Generally, the same standards that apply in other personal injury cases will apply to a case arising out of harm caused by the coronavirus. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty, there was a breach of the duty by the defendant, and harm resulted from the breach.
For example, if a person who contracted COVID-19 as a passenger on a cruise ship can show that the cruise line failed to take reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the disease, that person may be owed damages. Similarly, a person who contracted COVID-19 due to a hospital’s or nursing home’s failure to use protective equipment or quarantine sick patients may be awarded compensation.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer in Boca Raton
Legal questions can be challenging to answer under any circumstances, but seeking a resolution to an issue may be especially difficult during a global pandemic. If you have concerns regarding your legal rights or a question regarding a legal matter related to the coronavirus pandemic, you should speak to an attorney.
Gregg M. Hollander has the knowledge and skills needed to answer your questions and assist you in protecting your rights. Mr. Hollander’s main office is in Boca Raton, and he also has offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, serving people in Palm Beach and Broward Counties and elsewhere in South Florida. The Hollander Law Firm can be reached via the online form or at 561-347-7770 to set up a meeting.