The Corona virus has affected many businesses not only in the United States but across the world. Regardless of how serious the situation is, people will still suffer from ordinary events such as car accidents, slips and falls among others.
The good news is that you can still bring a personal injury claim during this pandemic but certain issues will affect your claim. Below are some of the issues that you need to know:
You Might Feel Pressure to Settle
The Corona Virus has without a doubt brought about financial uncertainty for so many people. If your case hasn’t been settled yet, you might be tempted to take whatever offer the defendant’s insurance company puts on the table.
If you truly cannot wait for your personal injury lawyer to negotiate a better settlement for you, then you should consider alternative sources of income or getting financial support during this time. There are a few actions that businesses, state and federal agencies, governors and congress have taken to protect consumers in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the actions include suspension of evictions and foreclosures, removing interest on student loan payments and so on.
Settling your personal injury case early is not always a good idea because it might end up costing you a lot of money. You need to fully understand what your injuries are and how much your claim is worth.
Pressure to settle on the other hand might have nothing to do with you but with the insurance company. As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has caused financial uncertainty and insurance companies want to minimize how much they pay out.
The defendant’s financial future might suddenly be made uncertain due to Covid-19. For instance, if the defendant is a nail salon where your slip and fall accident occurred, they might not be able to pay your settlement because it closed down due to the pandemic and filed for bankruptcy.
Routine Medical Services May Not Be Available
Many medical facilities across the United States are prioritizing treatment of corona related cases and may delay giving non-critical care. If you had an appointment with your physiotherapist or just a follow up appointment with your doctor to check on your injuries you might not be attended to as quickly as you would like.
What this means is that you won’t be able to reach Maximum Medical Improvement so it won’t be easy to get the accurate value of your damages.
Court Operations have Changed
The Supreme Judicial Court recently ordered an updated order which is expected to take effect in May 4, 2020 regarding how courthouses and state courts in Massachusetts will operate amid the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic.
This new order will last at least until June 1, 2020. Courthouses will not be open to the general public unless there is an emergency that cannot be addressed virtually.
If you filed a personal injury lawsuit, you most likely have one hearing coming up on the court calendar. You should, however, be prepared for significant delays.
Lapses in Insurance Coverage
Due to the epidemic, some drivers might not be paying their insurance premiums. As a result, they might lose their coverage and this might complicate the situation for you if you were involved in a car accident with them. You might not be able to recover compensation from their personal assets and your only option might involve filing a claim against their uninsured car policy with their insurer. You should, however, keep in mind that the insurer will contest your claim and therefore you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Personal Injury Law Firms are Essential Businesses that Remain Open
At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, we are still conducting free initial consultations via phone or email which allows us to continue social distancing while protecting members of the community. We are also able to file lawsuits electronically in a timely manner. Furthermore, courts understand that the Corona virus pandemic has created delays and they consider this as “good cause” for getting an extension.
We are still working on current cases and accepting new ones. We can gather facts by requesting documents to be sent electronically and negotiate settlements for our clients. Negotiations are usually done via letter or over the phone so not much has changed.
If you are located in New Bedford, MA, you can schedule your free initial consultation with us via 508-999-0800.