Medical Malpractice and COVID-19: Do I Have a Case?

These are unprecedented times in the medical field. The novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, caught the medical world unprepared. There is no question that some people experienced serious harm and death while under the care of a physician who used procedures that have since been proven to be less effective or in fact harmful. The question is, do you have a malpractice case? 

The answer is unclear because it depends on your particular circumstances. It’s best to talk to an experienced malpractice lawyer to review the details of your situation. In order to prove medical malpractice, we need to prove that the healthcare provider or institution violated the standard of care, an injury occurred due to this negligence, and the injury resulted in serious damage. 

The problem is that there has never been a situation quite like this before; therefore the “standard of care” for a COVID-19 pandemic has not been set. Quite a few COVID-related lawsuits have been filed, and the legal definition of “standard of care” will probably evolve for some time as these cases are settled.

Some states have actually passed immunity laws to protect doctors and other healthcare workers and institutions from lawsuits, but this is not the case in Florida.

The types of medical malpractice arguments that could possibly apply include:

  • Negligence with regard to emergency preparedness and infection control:  Healthcare facilities have a duty to maintain current and rigorous Emergency Preparedness Plans and Infection Control Plans. It may be possible to demonstrate that the healthcare facility violated this fundamental standard of care.
  • Failure to provide proper medical attention: While we may not be able to demonstrate negligence on the specific basis of COVID-19, this does not mean that your healthcare providers all adhered to the standard of care that any patient would require. Examples of negligence may include failure to diagnose properly; failure to treat; discrimination based on age, existing conditions, race, etc.; infection from another patient due to insufficient protections or isolation of sick patients, and more.
  • Failure to protect frontline workers: If you were a frontline worker and contracted COVID from patients, you may have a case of medical malpractice as well as a workplace injury.

As stated, the law is evolving with regard to COVID-19 medical malpractice. However, do not hesitate to reach out and talk to me about your specific case. Do so while the details are still fresh in your mind and documentation and other forms of evidence are easy to access. I can evaluate your situation and help you determine if you have a case. If so, I will work my hardest to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Call today.

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