December 3, 2020



As the coronavirus continues to spread and impact more and more people in the United States, and the global population as a whole, there are a lot of new problems that have become associated with the spread of the disease. There are problems arising in the education, business, healthcare, political, social, economic sectors and beyond. And as the virus rages on, it is unclear what the solutions to these problems are. People have mostly been left to figure out how to adapt to these problems on their own as the systems that are plagued with new issues of liability, sanitation, and communal care in the face of a pandemic struggle to set standards. What remains clear is that the world, and most specifically the United States, was not prepared for the coronavirus; and moreover, that the world is about to experience the setting of new standards and precedents in almost every sector.

The world has only ever seen a handful of worldwide epidemic or pandemic events. While global epidemic and pandemic events are not new by any stretch, with the first commonly recognized one being the 1847-48 influenza epidemic, the last time the world saw something as fast and devastating as the coronavirus was in the 1950s or late 60s. Those periods saw rampant influenza outbreaks that led to millions of deaths, though it is unclear exactly how many as the margin of uncertainty is also in the millions. That level of uncertainty stems from a very important concept both then and now with the coronavirus: infection tracking.

The tracking of infections is a long standing practice since the days of the bubonic plague, though it has come a long way from then. Even since the 50s and 60s, we have come a long way. Some infection tracking efforts implemented since the advent of the covid-19 outbreaks can track specific infection points so accurately that they can pinpoint the method of transmission to something as specific as an elevator button or doorknob. From the point of infection, studies are then capable of finding the carrier that placed the disease in that spot for someone else to contract. The application of disease tracking, while incredibly useful for reigning in the virus, also gives a new set of tools to personal injury lawyers. An individual impacted by the virus can, in all likelihood, trace their infection to a specific point of transmission and then to a specific person.

And what does that mean for personal injury lawsuits?

A lot.

While not every country has measures to track infections that accurately, with the United States among them, many applications and programs are still in development. Before the end of the pandemic or the manufacturing of an effective vaccine, and perhaps even after either, there may be a more effective method of contact tracing put into place in the United States. Though the implementation of such systems may not be necessary for use in personal injury cases, as the guidelines given by the CDC in regards to contact tracing present lawyers with many tools and methods to utilize in legal proceedings.

Contact tracking does not always work in the favor of those pursuing financial compensation in the wake of contracting the coronavirus, however, as it can display that a claimant was not acting in accordance with the recommended safety standards set in place by local and federal government agencies. For instance, if a claimant can trace their infection to a specific location, such as a gas station or grocery store, the burden of proof still remains on the claimant to prove that they were following recommended safety guidelines. In both instances, there may have been alternative to even entering the premises in which they were infected. And in a less favorable scenario for the claimant, their infection might be traceable back to a location or activity which presents an innate risk of infection, such as attending a movie theater or other large indoor public gathering, such as a church service or rally. In the event of tracking working against the claimant, the claim will likely result in nothing gained.

While the future of personal injury litigation in relation to the coronavirus and those impacted by it remains uncertain, it remains a topic of concern due to factors other than contact tracing as well. Another great concern in regards to the coronavirus are the lasting effects of infection. While insurance or government programs may cover the cost of initial treatment of the virus, it is not guaranteed to cover the cost of maintaining one’s health post treatment and recovery. The long lasting side-effects of the disease are numerous and not entirely defined, though the current list amassed by the CDC includes depression; weakness of the heart, lungs, and kidney; neurological deficits with smell and taste; as well as other types of fatigue, pain, and weakness. These lasting effects may require medication, frequent checkups, and even surgery. Many insurers already consider these effects to be pre-existing conditions that can increase the cost of health insurance or potentially disqualify an individual with their existing insurance plan. The cost of increased insurance rates or having to deal with being uninsured can be projected and included in a personal injury settlement, greatly increasing the value of a personal injury case.

The efficacy and unforeseen side-effects of vaccines is also a topic of concern for many. Lack of long term data and the rush of production for many potential vaccines for the coronavirus makes their introduction into the public world a common concern. Some vaccines that show a great deal of promise also have some more dangerous side-effects, such as flu-like symptoms and aches and pains. These side-effects may sideline workers, or in many cases in the United States, lead to people going into potentially dangerous workplaces while feeling ill or unable to carry out their work safely. Individuals that receive such vaccines may become dangers to those around them if they attempt to ignore potential side-effects. Vaccines may also have unforeseen long-term side-effects that could affect those that did not receive them, such as if the vaccine is shown to be teratogenic or otherwise affect the growth or abilities of potential children. Such side-effects may lead to marital disputes and other associated legal disputes.

The coronavirus presents many problems which require the use of legal council. Whether that be in the form of personal injury law, divorce law, or criminal law; covid is still in the process of creating new precedents for how legal matters can be approached and new reasons that individuals might need to bring a claim to court to seek compensation, satisfaction, or justice.

Well States is a third party personal financing company for individuals seeking help with medical costs during a personal injury claim. Our unique services are designed to help claimants recover quickly and minimize the stress put on them while they are in the midst of legal hardship. To find out more about our innovative and industry leading system and how it can work for you, call 855.FOR.WSHC (367-9742) or visit our website at