COVID-19 affected many countries and territories around the world, causing numerous deaths, which left many families grieving and trying to cope with the loss of their loved ones. Most of the patients who died are breadwinners, which put so much burden on the shoulders of surviving family members.
While there are many legitimate cases of death due to COVID-19, many families are claiming that their deceased loved ones were victims of inaccurate diagnosis and inefficient health care services. Most of them even hire experienced wrongful death lawyers, hoping that they could get the justice and compensation they deserve.
If you believe that your loved one got infected and died because of someone’s negligence, it’s best to get legal help as soon as possible. Talking to an attorney is an excellent way to know if you have a valid case. It’s also a perfect opportunity to ask questions regarding the process of filing a claim for a COVID-19 wrongful death. Some lawyers offer free consultation services and don’t charge their clients unless they win the case and get just compensation.
Who Are More at Risk of Getting Infected?
We all know that children, the elderly, the sick, and healthcare workers or the so-called “frontline workers” are the most vulnerable people because they are either more exposed to the COVID-19 virus or have a weaker immune system. Frontliners serve as the first line of defense against the rapid spread of the infection. They are the first responders, meaning they provide care to suspected COVID-19 patients and those who were already diagnosed with the deadly disease.
That said, they are more at risk of becoming infected even if they are wearing personal protective equipment, or they are exercising precautions while doing their jobs. The threat is always looming, and even a single mistake or negligence can cost them their lives. The elderly, children, and those who have underlying health conditions are at an increased risk of getting infected because their immune system is either weak or compromised.
How Negligence Increases the Risk of Transmission
Many frontline workers who kept working in their respective medical facilities or headquarters during the pandemic became infected with the COVID-19 virus. They were aware of the risk, but they chose to fulfill their duties and responsibilities to serve those in need of assistance and care.
Other essential employees, such as those working in commercial and industrial companies, were exposed to the virus and got infected. It was because of their employers’ negligence. There are recommended safety protocols and guidelines for workplaces. If you believe that your deceased loved one’s employer did not follow those guidelines and protocols, then you may file for a COVID-19 wrongful death claim.
Employers could be held liable if they:
- Failed to provide their employees with the necessary PPE
- Did not check their workers’ temperature and implement health screening every day
- Did not warn their employees about the increased risk of catching the virus
- Failed to implement social distancing rules in the workplace
- Forced an ill employee to come to work
- Failed to provide alcohol, sanitizers, facemasks, ad disinfectants for their employees
- Failed to regularly clean and disinfect the workplace
- Did not inform their workers about their colleagues who have COVID-19
Who Can File a COVID-19 Wrongful Death Claim?
The rules on filing a claim for COVID-19 death claim may vary depending on the state you are in. In some states, qualified individuals include the following:
- The spouse
- The children of the deceased
- A parent or guardian of the deceased
- The deceased’s representative
Obtaining Compensation for Damages
With the help of a lawyer, the surviving family members of the deceased might receive any of the following types of compensation:
- A certain amount for the medical expenses incurred by the deceased and his or her family members
- Money for the burial and funeral costs
- Money for the legal expenses
- Compensation for the lost income and other benefits
- Compensation for the deceased pain and suffering
No amount of money can indeed pay for the life that the virus and other people’s negligence took but getting the right compensation for the damages will be of great help to the surviving family members. Your loved one fought a very tough battle against the virus and suffered a lot before he or she died. Fighting for his or her rights to just compensation is the best thing you can do to make the negligent parties pay. Consult a lawyer to learn more about your situation and the legal options you have.