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Healthcare Facility Liability During COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the country, hospitals continue to become overwhelmed with patients. Most hospitals are doing an excellent job, and the healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic deserve to be applauded for their hard work. Unfortunately, some of those medical professionals will be found negligent if they do not provide the proper standard of care. A San Francisco medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine whether you have been impacted by a doctor’s negligence, such as failing to prevent hospital-acquired infections or not getting certain patients into the ICU or on a ventilator quickly enough.

When errors happen in a healthcare facility, it is natural for anyone who suffered harm as a result to wonder if they have a personal injury case against the facility or its staff. In the case of COVID-19, these claims are not going to be easy. Anyone who believes they have been a victim of negligence should first speak with a medical malpractice attorney in San Francisco who can help with their case.

The CARES Act

At the end of March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act provided, among other things, a limitation on the liability of any volunteer working within a healthcare facility during the pandemic. That means that volunteers cannot be held liable under state or federal law if a patient suffers harm as a result of an action or omission in the provision of health care services.

However, there are exceptions to the CARES Act. For example, providers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who showed gross negligence, reckless misconduct, willful or criminal misconduct, or a ‘conscious flagrant indifference’ to the rights or safety of the patient can be held liable.

The PREP Act

While the CARES Act applies only to volunteers, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act provides all health care workers dealing with the pandemic additional protections. This Act states that any covered person that administers, prescribes, or dispenses ‘pandemic countermeasures’ is immune from liability under state and federal law. In order for this Act to apply, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) must provide a written Declaration giving health care workers that immunity and in early February, the Secretary provided that Declaration.

Still, like the CARES Act, the PREP Act does not provide immunity for willful or reckless misconduct and so, individuals harmed by negligent care can file a claim in these instances. Filing a claim will still prove to be very difficult, so any injured patient should speak to a medical malpractice attorney in San Francisco first.

A San Francisco Medical Malpractice Lawyer can Help

If you or a loved one was harmed in a healthcare facility as a result of COVID-19 and now want to file a lawsuit, the road ahead is a challenging one. At the Brod Law Firm, a San Francisco medical malpractice lawyer can help. Attorney Brod has the necessary knowledge of state and federal laws that cover medical malpractice, and the experience to help you secure the fair compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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