Posted: August 1, 2020
As a Cincinnati personal injury lawyer for over 39 years it has been an honor to meet experts from all over the United States. Recently, a great law firm reached out and shared with me a great resource article written specifically for folks with personal injury claims in the time of the Covid-19 virus. It gives information about what possible changes they may see in the times of Covid. Instead of just putting a link up to the article, I thought this was such an important issue that I would introduce the article on my Cincinnati personal injury blog.
The impact on everyone may vary by jurisdiction as it seems that each Court has its own set of rules. One of the largest impacts I have seen, is the ability and desire to handle claims online. This is especially true when it comes to mediating a personal injury claim. I have been a mediator in a online Zoom mediation with 8 parties. The plaintiff attorney was actually in another state than their client.
Through Zoom, i was able to put them in their own private video breakout room, as were all the other parties. Then, we could all come together in the same meeting room. Althoughn not quite as good as in person, i was surprised by the personal feel it had,.Please enjoy this article for more details about your injury claim in the time of Covid.
Filing A Personal Injury Claim During Quarantine: What You Need to Know
The Coronavirus has toppled almost every aspect of modern-day living, even the way our judicial system works. Looking at the adverse socio-economic conditions that this crisis has brought us, we can already tell that this outbreak is definitely going to affect how we process and settle legal matters.
That being said, a lot of people have been asking if they can still file personal injury claims during the quarantine period.
It's entirely possible to file claims these days. While most courts and law offices do not entertain face-to-face interactions as of the moment, many personal injury attorneys are meeting with clients online and working on cases remotely. Pending and new lawsuits will move forward, albeit at a slower pace.
Here’s what you need to know about filing personal injury claims in the time of COVID-19.
Expect changes in courthouse schedules and procedures.
The country's judicial system has been largely shut down in response to the current health crisis. As a result, lawsuits – including personal injury cases – may take longer than usual to resolve.
Despite the interruptions to legal system operations, lawsuits are moving forward, and you can still get your case filed. Many judges are conducting their proceedings remotely, through teleconferences, video calls, and other electronic methods.
Courthouses may have closed their doors, but your lawyer can still pursue your claim if they have the means to do so.
Some states have suspended their statutes of limitations.
A state’s statutes of limitations establishes how long or until when the injured party can file a lawsuit over an incident. Once the time frame runs out, you no longer have the legal right to seek compensation.
However, with the way things are progressing and the COVID-19 court closures, it could be challenging to file lawsuits within their designated statutes of limitations right now. In response, many states have tolled or extended their statutes of limitations and pushed back hearing schedules.
(The orders vary from state to state, so ask your attorney if the changes apply in your area and how they may affect your case.)
Insurance companies are still processing and paying claims.
Insurance companies are essential businesses. They are allowed to open and continue operations during the pandemic.
The law requires insurance companies to continue paying claims promptly amid the COVID-19 crisis. Not all claims need to go through court. It’s possible to file a claim, negotiate with insurance representatives, and agree to a fair settlement through emails and video calls.
Still, you can’t expect insurance companies not to put up a fight. Given the current state of the economy and the anticipation of further decline in profits, adjusters may resort to more cunning practices to reduce your payout. Enlisting the help and guidance of a skilled personal injury attorney will increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome.
You need to get medical treatment as soon as possible.
It's no secret that hospitals across the U.S. are overrun with Coronavirus cases, making it virtually impossible to book a doctor's appointment. Even if you do get one, you'll probably have second thoughts about going in fear of contracting the virus.
Getting treatment after an accident or injury is crucial – both for health and insurance reasons. Without proper treatment and medical records, you will not be able to prove the full extent of your personal injuries.
If complete teatment or surgery is not possible because of the COVID-19 situation, at least get yourself a full medical evaluation. As soon as it's safe to do so, make sure to complete all necessary medical procedures, so your lawyers can add the expense to your claim before moving forward with the settlement.
Do not delay your case.
The Coronavirus may pose a lot of inconveniences to those who wish to file a personal injury case, but don't let it delay your claim. While working on a lawsuit during the pandemic can be very troublesome, your chance for a fair settlement depends on it.
Lawyers across the country are taking their practice to virtual spaces. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Waiting for this crisis to pass before making your move will only put you at a disadvantage.
About the Author
Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., personal injury law firm a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury as well as other matters.