The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses operate. But remote work and economic downturn are not the only implications you may have to face. Right now, you have to gear up for the possibility of an onslaught of personal injury lawsuits that claim compensation for the victim contracting the virus due to your company’s negligence. In these circumstances, a risk management strategy can help you deal with the lawsuits with a better defense. Timely and proper action can save you from a lot of trouble, so you must be prepared with these effective litigation lessons.
Causation is the key
When it comes to COVID litigation, causation is the first and foremost issue. Primarily, the plaintiff will have to prove that the disease was contracted on your business premises. They will need to present reliable evidence to validate causation. The second fact that decides causation is whether the action or inaction of the business caused the victim to contract the virus. This can be decided based on facts such as whether training or different personal protective equipment would have prevented the victim from being infected.
Verification of infection is important
While a victim needs to prove causation of infection to file a claim against the business, they must also substantiate that they had the disease. After all, your company will have to pay them if they actually sustained damages, just as it happens with the compensation for injuries in a typical car accident claim. The victim gets compensation only for the value of injuries they sustain in the mishap. Similarly, if there was no disease despite the exposure, there isn’t a valid claim.
Warnings and precautions reduce exposure in litigation
The implementation of preventative measures and warnings by a business goes a long way in defending lawsuits. On the other hand, not doing so means you are flouting the standards of reasonable care and this can make you liable for spreading the contagion. According to experienced trial attorneys, you have a stronger defense if you have taken adequate actions to curb the infection at your premises or as a part of your operations. For example, closure during lockdowns and following the regulatory
healthcare norms after reopening can make a difference.
Beware of big damages
Personal injury cases involving the contraction of COVID-19 can be of high value as it has happened with infectious disease litigation in the past. The jury may assess large compensatory awards along with punitive damages, which can spell massive financial burden for your business. So it makes sense to have adequate insurance cover to help your business handle the implications of such lawsuits. After all, the last thing you would want during this financial crisis is a verdict that requires you to pay multi-million dollar compensation.
The COVID era is a time of crisis for businesses in more than one way. While an operational transition can keep your company up and running, you cannot forget the significance of staying safe from pandemic-related lawsuits. Being aware of these lessons and taking the right actions can help a lot.
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