My name is Arlene, and two years ago, I was involved in a car accident that wasn't my fault. I had some injuries that required a hospital stay, and I was unable to return to work for several weeks. I didn't know how I was going to pay my bills, and it was very stressful for me. My friend told me that I needed to hire an accident and personal injury attorney so I could recover my lost wages and medical costs. I was so glad that I hired the attorney, and my stress level immediately went down. Through the attorney, I was able to get a settlement, and I was no longer in financial trouble. I am writing this blog to let everyone know the importance of hiring an attorney after an accident. It's my wish that this blog will help others who are in similar situations.
The odds are good that you never heard of the Zika virus until a few months ago. The virus, which can be contracted through the bite of a certain mosquito or through sexual contact with someone who is already infected, only causes mild symptoms in adults. However, the virus can drastically alter the course of an otherwise normal pregnancy—leading to miscarriages and microcephaly, a condition that causes a baby to be born with a small head and underdeveloped brain.
If this happens to your baby, is it just bad luck? Or are there situations where a lawsuit is appropriate? These are some things to consider.
Could the hotel, resort, or travel agency be liable?
It's generally agreed that hotels, resorts, and travel agencies have a duty to keep their guests and clients reasonably safe from danger. When you booked your trip, did you assume that you'd be safe as long as you stayed out of areas like Brazil, where the virus is known to be a problem? Because the Zika virus is just now making its way to the continental U.S. in areas like Dallas, parts of California, and Miami Beach, many travelers are unaware of CDC travel advisories in those areas.
If the problem was already known, your hotel, resort, and travel agency should have given you sufficient warning of the potential danger before you booked your trip. If the danger wasn't clear until after you booked your trip, or even after you got there, the hotel or resort should have immediately notified you about any travel advisories in effect, allowing you to mitigate your risk of catching the virus.
Could you sue a sexual partner?
If you caught the Zika virus from a sexual partner, there is a possibility that you could sue. If your partner knew that he or she had contracted the Zika virus, or was even exposed to it and simply unsure about whether or not he or she was infected, passing the Zika virus onto you was a negligent act. While not every state allows such claims, there have been many successful lawsuits in the past over sexually transmitted diseases that were spread to an unwitting sexual partner by someone that was infected.
Could you sue an employer? If you were forced to travel to an area that is in the midst of a Zika outbreak for work, your employer may also bear some liability if you get sick. If you unknowingly pass the virus to your partner or your unborn child, your employer may also bear responsibilities for their injuries.
If you were fully aware of the risks and chose to go on the business trip anyhow, you can't hold your employer responsible for the results. However, if your employer didn't fully inform you of the risks of traveling to an area with a known Zika outbreak, that's negligence on the part of your employer and could be subject to litigation.
If you or someone you love has been affected by the Zika virus, talk to an attorney, like one at Cohen & Siegel LLP, in your area today about the possibility of a case.