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A New Form of Assault in Hollywood and Florida: Coughing and Deliberate Exposure

Assault is a serious crime in Hollywood and Florida and can lead to both criminal and civil charges. Assault has traditionally involved hitting, punching, physical violence, or threats of violence. However, with the current pandemic a new form of assault is being seen.


This form of assault includes people who deliberately cough at, spit on, or otherwise expose others to the COVID-19 virus, in some cases suggesting that they have novel coronavirus. A person may walk up to a front-line worker, health-care professional, or a stranger and cough, sneeze, or spit on them and then allege to have the virus.

This Form of Assault is Serious

Not surprisingly, this form of assault is distressing for victims. Criminals who engage in his behavior can and have been arrested and charged. In addition, victims of this form of assault can seek civil claims.

Someone who is the victim of this form of assault may face significant financial losses. They may need to pay for COVID-19 testing and take time away from work if they need to self-isolate. They may need to go in for multiple tests or their employer may refuse to let them return to the workplace until they have passed multiple tests.

The stress and upset of the incident may also make life difficult for the victim. In some cases, people who may have been exposed to the virus need to isolate from their families, stay at a hotel to protect their families, and take other costly steps to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The financial losses from having necessities delivered during self-isolation, the medical costs of tests and medical care, and loss of income as well as potential hospital stays can add up to thousands of dollars.

Someone who contracts COVID-19 may face even greater losses. Their very life is at risk and they may require hospitalization, emergency treatment, and expensive medication. In some cases, their lungs may be permanently affected. Someone who has contracted COVID-19 from an assault may lose months of work or may be unable to return to their job.

What to do After an Assault

If someone has coughed on or spit at you during the COVID-19 pandemic or has threatened you with coronavirus exposure, contact the police. That person may face criminal charges.

In addition, you may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney to explore your rights for compensation. You may be facing very high expenses through no fault of your own and getting compensation can ensure these costs don’t all come from your own savings.

Contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free accident consultation with an assault attorney in Hollywood. Our legal team can review your options for a civil claim and can help you understand what your potential case may be worth. Your first consultation with us is free and comes with no obligation. We currently offer our consultations via a safe and virtual channel or through the telephone, providing you with a safe way to speak to an attorney.

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