Personal injury cases tend to be complicated given the various elements of a claim. But when you add in a global pandemic like COVID-19, an already complicated situation can become chaotic.
Courts and law firms across the nation have been adapting to closures and government mandates. However, accidents still happen even during a global pandemic. And when they do, or your personal injury has been further complicated because of COVID-19, you need legal guidance you can trust and count on.
As essential employees continue to get supplies across the nation, truck drivers have become an integral part of the nation’s plan to keep hospital supplies ready, get the economy moving and families prepared during the novel Coronavirus.
Though traffic has been reduced due to government mandates, accidents will still happen. And if you are a truck driver helping sustain our nation, your rights need to be protected.
Changes in Truck Law during COVID-19
In an emergency declaration by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the laws governing motor carriers and drivers have been temporarily altered to allow direct relief efforts to occur. In essence, the declaration extends the hours of service drivers may operate. These efforts may include, medical supplies and life-sustaining items like food, medication, etc.
The declaration includes provisions of relief for commercial motor vehicle operations that are providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 including:
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19;
- Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants;
- Food for emergency restocking of stores;
- Equipment, supplies, and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19;
- Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and
- Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.
While it is important that supplies are available to aid in the COVID-19 relief efforts, is it safe for drivers?
Drivers will be on the road longer, meaning less time to rest. While this declaration is only for essential items and is not valid on mixed items or non-essential deliveries, these drivers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis are putting themselves at risk of not only an accident but of contracting the Coronavirus.
As a truck driver, even under the emergency declaration, you have rights. If you inform your employer that you are in need of immediate rest, you must be given at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before you are required to return to the motor carrier’s terminal or report to a normal location.
If you are not given this rest, you need legal representation, especially if exhaustion causes an accident, risking your life and others.
Injured in a Trucking Accident
While traffic has greatly reduced across the nation, motor vehicle accidents are still likely to occur. With truck drivers on the road for longer periods of time, and essential workers putting in extended hours, along with the fragility of spring weather across the nation, if accidents occur, you have rights.
The top causes of accidents relating to truck drivers are:
- Distracted Driving
If you have been injured in an accident with a truck driver, you may be able to seek legal damages against the driver, company or truck manufacturer for your losses.
Right now, many Americans are wondering if they can press charges against those they have contracted COVID-19 from. While in many cases this is difficult to prove, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can review the facts of your case to see if you have legal standing.
To file a medical malpractice claim, you need to prove:
- There was a violation of the standard of care.
- An injury was caused by this negligence.
- The injury resulted in significant damages.
Right now, more protections are being afforded to the medical community given the circumstances and unknowns of COVID-19. But, if you have been outwardly neglected by a facility, you have legal rights.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, federal employees will be able to file for workers’ compensation as a result of the Coronavirus as a result of exposure or medical need.
But if you do not work for the government sector, what are your rights?
Right now, many employers and state agencies are working through the changes in mandates as a result of COVID-19. But if you are injured at work, you still have rights that need protecting.
In addition, if your employer has put you in harm’s way as a result of COVID-19, you may have a personal injury claim.
The state of affairs is uncertain right now. But your rights are a Constitutional guarantee. Let us represent you.
PERSONAL INJURY LAW DURING COVID-19
Even during a global pandemic, your personal injury matters cannot wait. You need legal guidance and protection. And we can help.
As Coronavirus plagues our nation, personal injuries will continue to happen. If you are in need of legal assistance relating to personal injury incidents including truck accidents, medical malpractice or workers’ compensation, contact us today. We have personal injury attorneys all over the nation waiting to take your case.