Can I File a COVID-19 Claim Against a Business in Arizona?
Premises liability issues comprise one area of personal injury cases that many victims may not know about. Whether you sustain slip-and-fall injuries on someone else’s property or get involved in an elevator accident at a shopping mall, premises liability covers a wide spectrum of cases. If you’ve sustained injuries, you may be dealing with physical trauma, emotional distress, and a number of bills or other financial difficulties. That’s why it’s important to secure an experienced attorney to help you with your case.
Now, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, some victims might wonder if premises liability claims can apply to COVID-19.
If you sustained your injuries while on someone else’s property, the owner may be liable. Contracting a serious disease can certainly result in damages for victims, despite the fact that these damages may not relate to traditional physical harm. However, speaking to a qualified lawyer can help you determine your next steps. You may have legal options for pursuing compensation for damages.
Premises Liability for Coronavirus in Arizona
Technically, a customer or consumer could file a lawsuit in Arizona against a business. A victim who contracts COVID-19 could blame a business for its premature opening, irresponsible business practices, or any law-breaking activity that caused coronavirus spread. Victims who contract the virus, as a result, could point to a business’s negligence. On the whole, negligence refers to an owner’s failure to uphold their duty of care. For this situation, that would be the duty of reasonable care for coronavirus precautions.
Investigation of Premises Liability for COVID-19
Keep in mind, however, that one has to prove that a business was negligent. A victim and their lawyer may have to jump through several hurdles to accomplish this task.
A legitimate claim would have to center on the failure of a business to execute reasonable care. For example, let’s say that Arizona’s COVID-19 orders are lifted for additional businesses. In theory, a restaurant or bar could open back up but fail to take adequate precautions in preventing viral spread. A lawyer could argue that it’s safe for customers to assume that restaurants and bars will adequately clean their facilities and monitor employees for coronavirus. This is particularly true since many states are requiring businesses to check for fevers at the start of employee shifts.
If a business does not take precautions and customers are unaware of this, they could contract the virus. In the worst-case scenario, a victim could end up at the hospital and require ventilation. They could miss work for months as a result, meaning lost wages. They could sustain a severe lung injury lasting for several weeks or for the rest of their lives, causing long-term physical issues or emotional anguish.
If the victim in this scenario learns that there was a COVID-19 outbreak at the business because of multiple employees who were sick but still coming to work, they could have a case.
Filing a COVID-19 Claim Against a Business
Remember that you have two years to file your premises liability claim in Arizona, so ensure you consult a lawyer long before this time is up. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that the defense attorney for a business will use the assumption of risk to fight your claim.
A similar concept to the assumption of risk is called comparative fault, also known as contributory negligence. In other words, a defense attorney could argue that entering a public place during the COVID-19 pandemic is risky behavior. If a jury decides that both the victim and the business share fault, a percentage will be assigned to each. The process would be similar to comparative fault percentages after a car wreck.
Another problem could be proving that the business owner’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s disease. A defense attorney could ask a victim to prove that it was that restaurant trip that caused their COVID-19. Additionally, they may argue that a person willing to take the risk of these public outings may have gone out other times. The long incubation period of the disease could make the case difficult to litigate.
Filing a successful COVID-19 claim against a business could be difficult. But there are unique situations in which a plaintiff could prove fault on the part of a business owner. That’s why it’s essential to consult an attorney if you think you have a claim for liability or negligence.
Premises Liability Attorney in Arizona
Premises liability claims can be stressful, but you don’t have to go through this time alone. Our Arizona premises liability lawyers at ELG want to help you determine your best legal options. When it comes to your recovery and securing your fair compensation, our attorneys will fight for you and your family. Contact our seasoned Phoenix attorneys today to set up a free, no-hassle consultation today. Call us at our law offices in Phoenix or Mesa at (623) 877-3600, and learn more about safeguarding your legal rights during your premises liability claim.