A new law in Florida provides a significant new shield to businesses, healthcare providers and some other entities in the Sunshine State against being sued for exposing customers, clients, employees and others to Covid-19.
In late March, the law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, protects businesses and organizations from coronavirus-related personal injury lawsuits if the entity can show that it made a “good faith effort” to comply with health standards for preventing the spread of the virus. Even if the entity cannot prove that effort, it is shielded from liability unless the person suing can show that the entity acted with gross negligence.
This makes it significantly more difficult for anyone who believes that they or a loved one was exposed to Covid-19 on the job, while receiving medical treatment, while shopping, or in a number of other settings to seek compensation from those responsible. But these lawsuits are not impossible. A seasoned Florida personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case.
Proponents have hailed the law as a necessary step to reopening the state and its economy as vaccination rates surge, giving businesses the freedom to operate without the threat of a personal injury lawsuit. Efforts to provide a similar ban at the federal level are unlikely to be successful in Congress.
“We don’t want to be in a situation where people are scared of being sued just for doing normal things,” DeSantis said after signing the legislation.
Premises Liability for Accidents in Florida
Although Florida has significantly curtailed liability for Covid exposure, state laws continue to offer a number of rights and options to people who are injured or contract an illness on a business or private property. That includes a wide range of accidents, like slips and falls, deck collapses, and swimming pool mishaps.
Property owners are generally required to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and to warn others of hazards that the owner knows about or should know about through reasonable inspection. When they do not meet this responsibility, they are likely to be liable for any injuries resulting.
The money damages usually available in these cases include compensation for doctor’s bills, property damage, missed wages, and any reduction in a person’s earning capacity stemming from the injuries.
Talk with a Villages Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been exposed to an illness in a commercial setting or injured accident, it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury attorney in your corner. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and build the strongest possible case for money damages.
Tim Babiarz is a Villages accident attorney who has been fighting for people injured in a wide range of accidents for more than two decades. Tim has dedicated his career to helping people get the full compensation available under the law.
Our office is conveniently located in the Villages. We are also proud to represent clients throughout the area, including in Ocala, Leesburg, Lady Lake, Wildwood, Summerfield and beyond. Call (352) 205-7559 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Villages accident attorney.