How Coronavirus Is Impacting Personal Injury Cases
American Fork, Utah, United States, May 29 2020 (Wiredrelease) Tork Media LLC Personal injury cases are those cases where a victim suffers physical or emotional harm due to someone elses negligence. Some common types of personal injury cases include car accidents, slip and fall accidents (premises liability), dog bites, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, nursing home abuse or neglect, or even product liability cases. If you are victim of someone elses negligence, you have the legal right to pursue compensation and justice.
However, as the global pandemic related to the COVID-19 virus impacts nearly all of our society, personal injury cases have been affected as well. If you are facing a personal injury and are considering filing a claim, or if you already have a personal injury claim in process with the courts, your case will likely be impacted in some way. As our nation attempts to handle and cope with this unprecedented time in modern history, the legal system and courts within the United States are also struggling to adapt to this new normal, while still ensuring the protection of the legal rights of its people.
Coronavirus and Filing a Personal Injury Case
If you are considering filing a personal injury due to your injuries, you still have every legal right to do so. In fact, most law firms have quickly adjusted their process to include telephone calls and video conferencing with their clients. You should still consider consulting an attorney to understand your legal rights, and what your options are regarding your personal injury case.
While many courts are closed except for emergency hearings, some courts will begin to hear more cases as the restrictions regarding shelter-in-place are lifted. Of course, in this turbulent time, there is always the possibility that with a high spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, the state may make the decision to re-issue the shelter-in-place policy. During this very uncertain time, it is always best to make sure if a courthouse is open first before visiting. You can do this by contacting your attorney or visiting the website of the courthouse directly. While a court may not be open to the public, they may still be handling a substantial number of cases remotely or through teleconferencing. Never hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you were harmed due to someone elses negligence. Your legal rights do not end simply because there is a global pandemic.
Seek Medical Evaluation and Treatment
If you suffered physical or emotional injuries because of someone elses negligence, you need to have a medical evaluation, diagnosis and appropriate treatment in order to file a personal injury claim. The coronavirus pandemic can make visiting a medical professional much more difficult. Many doctors offices are either closed or only performing telemedicine. In other cases, the doctors offices are inundated with appointments related to COVID-19 making it difficult to see a healthcare provider in a timely manner.
First, if you suffered any serious injuries following an accident, never hesitate to go to the emergency room. Your health is paramount, and you must seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment if you suffered any kind of severe injury. You may be worried about visiting an emergency room during the time of a global pandemic, and while this decision is yours to make, getting medical evaluation and treatment regarding your injuries is simply essential to building a strong personal injury case and receiving the compensation you deserve. It is likely that hospitals, emergency rooms, and doctors offices are highly aware of the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus and are taking as many precautions as possible regarding protection and safety.
Whether you were injured in a vehicle or pedestrian acciden t, or in an accident on someones property, many people look to their insurance (either car or home insurance) to help them pay for any damages due to their negligence. However, in this time of global financial crisis, many people have simply been unable to pay their insurance premiums. This may have led to a loss in coverage, which would require a victim to then go after the personal assets of the negligent party. Unfortunately, in many cases, if a person does not have the financial means to pay their insurance premium, they may also not have the money to pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with a victims claim. In these cases, a victim may be able to look to their own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy for relief. This process may be more difficult if a victim is injured on the premises of a business or on personal property.
Coronavirus and Current Personal Injury Cases
You may already have a personal injury case filed to attempt to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages or pain and suffering. Your personal injury case did not end simply because of the COVID-19 virus. In fact, many courts are allowing certain hearings to be conducted through videoconferencing depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your legal issue. Additionally, all documents and paperwork, such as discovery, depositions, interrogatories, and legal filings can be done either online or emailed to the appropriate courthouse. Make sure to visit with your attorney regarding your current personal injury case or contact the court to determine if you need to make any additional steps during this time. While the courts may not be as efficient or quick during this time, you still have the legal right to pursue justice as a victim of someone elses negligence.
Settling a Personal Injury Case
Most personal injury cases settle outside of the courtroom. This may prove beneficial for those victims who have personal injury cases during this COVID-19 outbreak. Most of the documentation, interviews, and negotiations can be done through email or videoconferencing. However, because insurers know that victims need financial relief as soon as possible due to the global pandemic, they may use this as leverage to continue to offer low settlement amounts that are unfair to the victim. Always take time before you take a settlement offer from an insurance company to make sure it is fair and equitable and will truly compensate you for your losses. Personal injury cases are challenging at any time, and it always a good idea to seek legal counsel to ensure your rights are always protected.