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Can I Get Compensation for Long-Term COVID Symptoms?

In most cases, coronavirus hits victims like a sledgehammer, and the symptoms quickly fade. But that’s not always the case. In 2021, the federal government added long COVID to the list of covered conditions in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Common long-term COVID symptoms, which researchers are still trying to understand, include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Trouble concentrating (COVID brain fog)
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue.

The medical bills alone associated with long COVID often exceed $100,000 in Illinois. These bills could be financially overwhelming, especially for families who already struggle to make ends meet.

The good news is a personal injury lawyer in Rockford can obtain the compensation these victims need and deserve. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as the aforementioned medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Although these cases are quite complex, as outlined below, attorneys are usually able to settle these claims out of court. Therefore, victims get the compensation they need and deserve without having to go to trial.

Health and Safety Duty of Care

The landowner’s duty of care in Illinois applies to any illness or injury, including COVID or long COVID, which occurs away from home. In the Prairie State, the extent of duty usually depends on the relationship between the owner and victim, as follows:

  • Invitee: If the victim had an invitation (general or specific permission) to be at that location, and the victim’s presence benefited the owner either economically or non-economically, the owner usually has a duty of reasonable care. That’s one of the highest legal responsibilities in Illinois law.
  • Licensee: A licensee is a person like a child who cuts across a shopping mall parking lot on the way home from school. If the victim only had general permission to be on the property, which in this case means the owner didn’t object to the victim’s presence, the owner has a duty to warn about latent (hidden) defects. These latent defects could include an invisible virus.
  • Trespasser: Only a few victims fall into this category. It applies if the victim had absolutely no permission to be on the property and the victim’s presence did not, in any way at all, benefit the owner. Usually, owners have no legal duty to victims in these situations.

Specifically, the coronavirus duty of care usually includes prevention and reaction. Owners must take preventative action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masking, social distancing, and sanitizing were the three biggest areas during 2020 and much of 2021. A letdown in any area could be a breach of duty. Additionally, owners must react to coronavirus cases. That usually means isolation and quarantine. This portion of the coronavirus duty is still in full force.

Establishing Negligence

Tracing viral infection to a specific source is usually the most difficult part of a long COVID case for a Rockford personal injury attorney.

Before we get to methods of proof, we should talk about the burden of proof in civil claims. The legal requirement is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). So, a little proof goes a long way.

Especially given the low burden of proof, contact tracing is often very effective in these situations. Most people only go to one or two locations away from home on a daily basis. Furthermore, the incubation period for coronavirus is relatively fixed. So, it’s fairly easy to use contact tracing and isolate the point of infection to one location, or perhaps two.

Count on a Hard-Working Winnebago County Personal Injury Attorney

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. by calling 815-315-0574. Virtual, home and hospital visits are available.