What Lawsuits Might Come From COVID-19 Exposure?

Monday, September 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. As it continues to spread, with new cases spiking across the country, many people find themselves entrenched in related legal battles. COVID-19 lawsuits pertaining to business interruptions, false advertising, price gouging, employment contracts, negligence and more continue coming to light. As the number of total coronavirus cases in the US climbs to three million, courthouses are expecting even more lawsuits in the coming months.

Lawsuits Against China

Many attorneys and others have debated the responsibility of the Chinese government in bringing about and failing to contain the novel coronavirus. This has led to over a dozen different lawsuits filed against the Chinese Communist Party and affiliated entities alleging their accountability for the virus. Most of these lawsuits are valid despite sovereign immunity laws because they allege the defendant’s negligence or tort. Although the future of these suits remains unclear due to a web of potential legal issues, plaintiffs and their lawyers are hopeful in their pursuit of justice.

Employment Issues

Most businesses had to drastically change the way they operate on extremely short notice. This led to many failures, problems and breaches of duty of care by hundreds of employers. Now, injured, ill and wronged employees are seeking restitution through litigation. Some of the most common employment lawsuits related to COVID-19 are workers’ compensation claims, failed service contracts, inadequate provision of personal protection equipment, improper employee protection and personal injuries caused by negligence. If an employee believes his or her employer put workers at an undue risk of contracting the coronavirus, a lawsuit could hold the company accountable.

Business Interruption Loss Claims

Businesses are dealing with their own issues related to COVID-19 – particularly, losses in income and profitability due to shutdowns. Forced closures of nonessential businesses and stay-at-home orders in many states led to significant drops in the profits of small businesses. Many business owners turned to their business interruption insurance providers for benefits only to receive denials based on policy exclusions. These businesses may be able to pursue their claims through litigation if the insurance company does not have the right to deny them.

Price Gouging and False Advertising

Many consumers have come forward with lawsuits regarding illegal and unethical practices by businesses under emergency declarations. There are certain things a company cannot do during emergency conditions in the US. These include violating trademarks, selling fake goods, increasing prices (price gouging), misrepresenting facts, advertising false information and committing consumer fraud. 
Thousands of companies took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to con consumers and make money from their panic. Examples include large corporations such as Walmart, Amazon and eBay increasing their prices on high-demand goods such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Other companies and individuals made a profit based on false advertising, such as alleging that a mask filters out the virus when it does not. Affected consumers are now defending their rights by bringing lawsuits against negligent and criminal companies for their torts.

Failure to Refund

Millions of people had their events canceled because of the virus. Some entertainment venues and travel agencies, however, are refusing to issue refunds. One major lawsuit, for example, has come out against SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment for refusing to provide park pass refunds after shutting down its parks due to COVID-19. Another lawsuit exists against Frontier Airlines for failing to refund ticketed passengers for canceled trips.

Do You Need Assistance With a COVID-19 Lawsuit?

Do not wait to contact a Dallas personal injury attorney about a possible lawsuit related to the coronavirus pandemic. Courthouses throughout the US have continued accepting new lawsuits virtually and electronically. Whether you have a case concerning your business, family, employer, wages, a recent purchase or your individual safety, a lawyer can help you understand your rights and possibly file a lawsuit. One or more parties may owe you compensation for torts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:44 pm

What Should I Do If I’m Injured on Public Transportation?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Public transportation is an affordable and convenient way to commute to work and get around town. It should provide a safe and efficient travel experience for passengers. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In 2018, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported 65,000 bus accidents and 10,046 railroad accidents. If you get injured while taking mass transit – such as a bus, subway or train – you may have grounds for a claim against the city or state for negligence. 

Common Causes of Public Transportation Accidents

Determining the cause of your accident and injury is one of the first steps toward collecting compensation. In Texas, the party most at fault for causing an accident will be liable, or legally and financially responsible, for related damages. Public transportation can pose many risks to riders, from vehicle part breakdowns to negligent bus drivers. An investigation of your mass transit accident can help you pinpoint its cause.

  • Dangerous premises
  • Slip and fall accident
  • Criminal attack
  • Lack of security at a station
  • Negligent operator
  • Drunk or distracted driving
  • Negligent third party
  • Poor vehicle maintenance
  • Low-quality repairs

Most public transportation accidents are preventable. They occur when the government or one of its employees is negligent. Negligent vehicle maintenance, inspections and repairs can lead to a state of disrepair that exposes passengers to injuries. Poor operator training or driver negligence can cause collisions in transit. Once you or your personal injury lawyer identifies the cause of the wreck, you can determine who may be liable for your damages.

Your Rights as an Accident Victim

If you did not cause your public transportation injury, you should not have to pay the related medical bills, legal expenses, lost wages and other damages. Instead, the entity in charge of the bus, train or subway should owe you compensation. It is your right as an injured accident victim to file a claim against one or more parties to pursue financial compensation. You may have a claim against the government.
The government is generally responsible for a city or state’s public transportation. It will be the government’s duty to hear and investigate injury complaints, as well as to respond appropriately. In an injury claim against a government agency in Texas, you must show the entity or one of its employees was acting within the scope of its duties, failed to fulfill the standards of care and caused your injuries. 
Claims against the government have different procedural rules. Rather than having the standard two years from the accident to file, you must file your initial claim within just six months. It is important to strengthen your case by hiring an attorney, as these claims can be complex. A lawyer can help you through all the steps it takes to receive compensation from the government after a public transportation accident.

What to Do After a Mass Transit Accident

If you are riding a public bus, subway, train or another form of transportation in Texas and suffer an injury, stay calm and report what happened to an authority. This may be the bus driver, the police or the transportation company. Take pictures of the vehicle, its identification number, your injuries and other relevant details. Write down what you know about the accident, such as the date, time, location, people involved and a description of what happened. 
Seek medical care to treat your injuries. Do not admit any fault for the accident. Ask for copies of your x-rays, medical treatment plans, bills and other relevant documents. Then, while you are on the mend, contact an attorney near you for a consultation about your mass transit accident. An attorney may be able to help you collect evidence and bring a claim to damages against the entity responsible for the public transportation accident.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 3:50 pm