If you tested positive for COVID-19 and know how you contracted the virus, you may be wondering, “Can I sue another person for infecting me with coronavirus?” Typically, yes, you may be able to sue the person who infected you with COVID-19 if they did it intentionally, or your infection was the result of their negligence or carelessness. A common scenario in which you can file a coronavirus-related personal injury claim would be when the infected individual tested positive, they knew that they were a carrier, and they disregarded the quarantine order.
Personal Injury Claims for COVID-19
In Kentucky, as in other states, personal injury claims are based on negligence. People have a general duty to avoid causing harm to others, which is why you can sue someone for infecting you with COVID-19 unless that person was not negligent or careless. It is known that many coronavirus carriers are asymptomatic. It is also known that a person can spread the virus even before they begin to manifest symptoms themselves. These two factors make it more challenging to sue someone for coronavirus infection. On the other hand, if someone tests positive or is presumptively diagnosed with coronavirus but fails to comply with the quarantine and isolation order, they can be held accountable for spreading the virus to others.
Negligence in the Coronavirus Era
In the coronavirus era, quarantine measures exist not just for patients who test positive for COVID-19, but also anyone who has been in close contact with people who were diagnosed with the virus. In fact, Kentucky’s governor mandated 14-day quarantine for anyone who left home for Easter church services. Violating a mandatory quarantine order – or any other order issued by the state or local government – and spreading coronavirus to others may constitute negligence or reckless conduct. Also, if someone begins to show symptoms associated with coronavirus, including fever and flu-like symptoms, and they fail to contact their healthcare provider and isolate themselves, that person could also be negligent.
Suing Someone for COVID-19 Infection can be Tricky
Negligence itself is not enough to hold someone liable for infecting you with coronavirus. You also have to prove that:
- You contracted COVID-19 from this particular person;
- That person was negligent or reckless;
- You were diagnosed with the disease after being in close contact with that person; and
- You suffered damages (the coronavirus disease cost you money, including medical expenses).
If someone spreads COVID-19 but had no symptoms and no reasonable belief that they had the virus, they cannot be considered negligent. Also, if you contracted the virus from one particular person, but you did not require hospitalization or COVID-19 treatment, you may not have a claim for damages. Causation, however, might be the hardest element to prove in a coronavirus-related personal injury claim. After all, COVID-19 is highly contagious, and proving one-to-one infection is tricky because you might have been exposed to the virus somewhere else under any other circumstances. Speak with our Lexington personal injury attorney to find out if you can sue someone for infecting you with coronavirus. Contact Roberts Law Office to discuss your case. Call at (859) 231-0202.