How COVID-19 Might Impact Personal Injury Claims
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt nearly every aspect of daily life throughout the United States and much of the world, many people with pending personal injury claims are concerned about how the crisis may affect them. While no one can be certain what the future holds, here are some predictions about what may be to come over the next few months for personal injury victims.
Personal Injury Claims Will Continue to Move Forward
COVID-19 has caused closures of non-essential business and government offices in many cities around the country, and the courts have not been an exception, including those in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. That said, many are continuing to operate, albeit with certain restrictions in place. Many have closed their doors to the general public, limited their activity to emergency hearings, and postponed routine matters. In the event that you have a pending personal injury trial, there may be some delays in getting your case resolved. If your personal injury claim will be settled out of court, there is less of a chance of delay, as many insurance companies are operating normally with a remote workforce.
Virtual Meetings Will Become Commonplace
The social distancing measures recommended by many experts and “shelter in place” orders issued by officials have made in-person meetings inadvisable or illegal. Fortunately, in 2020, we have a plethora of options to conduct business from afar. Between Skype, Facetime, Zoom, and other video conferencing software, there are ample ways to meet without being in the same room. Expect that meeting with your lawyer, depositions, and settlement negotiations will be conducted virtually for the foreseeable future. In addition, you may be asked to sign a settlement agreement virtually through software such as DocuSign rather than coming into your lawyer’s office.
Your Medical Treatment is Still Important
In the face of the pandemic, many healthcare providers and hospitals have decided to cancel or postpone elective and non-essential procedures and appointments. As a personal injury victim, actively participating in and keeping up with your medical treatment is an essential part of getting the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often use gaps in treatment or missed appointments as evidence that victims’ injuries are not as serious as they claim that they are. Of course, if your doctor’s office is closed or certain treatments are deemed non-essential, that should not be used against you in your personal injury case. To the extent that you can, continue following your doctor’s orders, taking your medications, and doing any physical therapy that has been prescribed.
To determine how best to protect your claim, you should discuss your treatment options with your doctor.
Contact an Attorney with Any Questions or Concerns
COVID-19 is causing significant uncertainty in many areas of life, and the lawyers of the JLF Firm are here to help navigate this challenging time. We have various options that can allow us to work with you from the comfort of your own home, and we are committed to helping injured victims obtain the compensation to which they are entitled as quickly and efficiently as possible.