Filing a COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Event Organizers
While virtual gatherings are up 1,000% since the start of COVID-19, there are still some in-person events happening. If you’ve gotten sick at an event, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit for your illness. Filing a COVID-19 personal injury lawsuit against the organizer is difficult but not impossible.
You Would Need to Prove Your Case in a COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you sued an event organizer for contracting COVID-19 at their gathering, your lawsuit would be a personal injury claim. Every single personal injury lawsuit is based on a claim that the defendant was negligent. Here, you would need to show that there was something that the defendant did that caused you to get COVID-19 or something that they did not do in regard to reasonable prevention measures.
The Event Organizer May Have Breached Their Duty of Care
The claim would need to argue that the event organizer owed attendees a duty of care. Then, you would need to show that the organizer breached this duty by acting unreasonably. One of the foremost ways that they could act unreasonably is by packing people together into a small space when CDC guidelines call for social distancing. Their measures taken to protect people may also get called into question during a trial.
Waivers Could Make a COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuit Difficult
One reason why it may be difficult to hold large event organizers responsible for cases of COVID-19 is that many are asking people to sign waivers prior to attending these gatherings. While the strength of these waivers is often an issue in court cases, they will still present a large hurdle at the outset of a case. Your personal injury case would need to overcome the fact that you have signed a waiver. However, a waiver is not a bar to recovering compensation for contracting COVID-19 at an event.
Failure to Wear a Mask Could Be a Defense
In addition, your actions will also be looked at closely in court. The biggest way that you could sink your own lawsuit is by not wearing a mask at a large event. If this is the case, the defendant would argue that you were more at fault than they were for contracting COVID-19. If the court finds that you are more than 50% at fault for your own injury, you will not be able to recover at all. This is called comparative negligence, and it is a way for the defendant to argue that they do not need to pay.
Proving Causation May Be a Challenge
Moreover, you’ll have some difficulty in proving that you contracted your case of coronavirus at the large event. In personal injury cases, there is an element called causation that requires you to show that the defendant was responsible for your injury. This principle is proving to be an issue in COVID-19 cases since it is often challenging to prove exactly where people got the virus.
Assumption of Risk Is Not an Issue
However, one thing that would work in your favor is that assumption of risk is not a valid defense in a New Jersey negligence lawsuit. In other words, the defendant would not be able to argue that you knew the risks of attending an event during the COVID-19 crisis. Many defendants try to escape responsibility for their actions by trying to persuade the court that people participated in the event fully aware of what could happen. While this may be a possibility in other states, it is not one in New Jersey.
As you can see, there are some challenges that must be overcome in your lawsuit against an event organizer. Nonetheless, a personal injury lawyer would advise you to explore the possibility of a lawsuit.
If you or a loved one got sick or injured due to another party’s blatant negligence, you may have a legal cause of action. Contact a personal injury lawyer at RAM Law. You can reach our New Brunswick, NJ, office at (732) 247-3600, our Somerville, NJ, office at (908) 448-2560, or our Freehold, NJ, office at (732) 828-2234 and schedule a free consultation.