UNITED STATES—The COVID-19 global pandemic has completely changed the way the world operates. Personal injury law has not been exempt from the force unleashed by this global catastrophe. If you have suffered a personal injury during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to be aware of the ongoing changes happening in personal injury law as the state of the pandemic evolves.
Don’t Wait to File
One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to file your claim on time. The statute of limitations for how long you have to file remains the same. These days we have grown accustomed to delays and waiting. However, while you may experience many obstacles in the course of your case, you can not delay getting your case started.
The Claimant Will Be Most Affected by the Changes
There are many things different about the way that personal injury claims are being handled these days. With most of these changes, the person most affected is the one filing the lawsuit. Some of the differences are direct results of temporary laws enacted to help limit the spread of the virus. Others are indirect, occurring in response to conditions created by the temporary laws or the virus itself.
Aggressive Insurance Companies
One of the indirect consequences caused by the pandemic is an even more aggressive approach by insurance companies to attempt to deny or undervalue your claim. Even in the best of times, insurance companies tend to go to great lengths to avoid paying the full value of a claim.
Insurance companies are not in the business of protecting clients in the case of a disaster as they like to claim. In reality, insurance companies are in the business of maximizing the money coming in and minimizing the money going out. Because of this business philosophy, it is never a good idea to try to take on an insurance company on your own.
With insurance companies taking all sorts of hits during the pandemic, including medical, business, and cancellation claims, they are fighting even harder than ever to keep every penny.
Delays Will Likely Be Common
Since the courts aren’t operating at full power during the pandemic, cases are piling up. While most personal injury cases end up being settled before ever reaching a courtroom, if that is not the case for your lawsuit, you can expect a lengthy wait until you finally get your day in court.
Everything Handled Remotely
As with everything else in life these days, the majority of your interactions concerning your case will be dealt with remotely. You will likely have most of your conversations with your lawyer via phone or video call. If your case does end up going to trial, there is a fair chance that it will be conducted through a group video call. This way, everyone will be protected from the potential danger of meeting in person.
Medical Treatment May Be Difficult to Receive
Hospitals are all under a lot of pressure due to the pandemic. People are being asked to avoid the hospital for non-emergency situations. This is both because there is not enough staff to handle all of the extra work and to protect people from potential exposure to the virus. It is still important for both your health and your legal situation that you do see a doctor, though.
After you receive initial treatment for your injury, whether it be immediate or after a very long wait, you might be doing all follow-up appointments through a video call with your doctor. Once the original examination has been conducted, your doctor should have enough knowledge about your injury to be able to tell if it is healing up alright over a video call.
If something seems to not be healing how they would like, they might have you come in for another in-person visit to check what’s going on and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment.
Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
It can be very difficult to keep up with the current status of the law as things are constantly in flux at the moment. The best way to keep apprised of the current situation is by consulting with a personal injury lawyer. A competent personal injury lawyer will be aware of any changes that occur which could have bearing on your case and will be able to advise you on how to proceed.
The legal professionals at ASK LLP attorneys at law in Minnesota are on top of all of the latest news regarding ways in which your case could be affected by the pandemic. They can guide you through every step of the process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injury.
About the author:
Wilma Wiliams is a law school graduate and a part-time freelance blogger, focused on various legal topics such as personal injury, and bankruptcy. She’s passionate about educating the public on fighting for their rights, which is why she’s currently collaborating with Ask LLP: Lawyers for Justice, whilst actively sharing a part of her experience as a former lawyer.