Cruise ships across the country have made headlines over the past several weeks due to many of their passengers contracting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As of the writing of this article, the Zaandam, owned by Holland America, is heading for Florida in the hopes of docking after more than 800 passengers and 602 crew members have been turned away by several other docks around the world due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Instances like these, and several other headline-making cruise ship coronavirus cases, beg the question, what legal options do individuals who contract the Coronavirus aboard these cruise ships have? We go into further detail about what we currently know about COVID-19 and when filing a personal injury lawsuit may be both appropriate and necessary.
What We Know About COVID-19
Because the coronavirus is a new disease in humans, there is still a lot we don’t know about it. But here’s what we do know. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads through the droplets of saliva and nose discharge. When people cough or sneeze, don’t wash their hands, and then touch things or other people, the disease can spread.
In order to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people stay at home wherever possible and practice social distancing. Unfortunately, despite the fact that many nonessential businesses in Florida have closed, essential businesses remain open, and these workers are putting themselves and their families at risk for contracting the disease.
COVID-19 can also be present in those who are asymptomatic. In some cases, the Coronavirus symptoms will not show for between two to fourteen days after a person has been exposed to it. This is how many cruise ships had many passengers contract the coronavirus, as passengers may have been asymptomatic when they boarded the ship, and therefore had no idea that they had contracted the Coronavirus.
Instances in Which Suing May Be Appropriate
There are several instances in which you may have the opportunity to sue the cruise ship you were on when you contracted the coronavirus. The first is if the ship did not practice proper protocol by disinfecting and cleaning the ship when COVID-19 first became a problem.
You may also have a case if the cruise ship did not place individuals who contracted the disease in quarantine in their rooms, which may have protected other passengers.
However, because the people with the disease can be asymptomatic for a period of time, infected passengers could have exposed other passengers to the disease before they became symptomatic. For this reason, you will need to discuss what legal options may be available to you with your attorney.
Get in Touch with a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are interested in further discussing your legal options for financial recovery after contracting the Coronavirus aboard a cruise ship, get help from a qualified Florida personal injury lawyer at Fischer Redavid PLLC. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by giving our office a call at (954) 800-2155 or submitting the quick contact form we have provided below.