ADue to court closures and limited operations during the last several weeks, your pending personal injury case may be delayed. Many hearings and court business are being conducted over the phone or teleconferencing, so this may be a deviation from a “typical” personal injury case. Insurance claims may also take longer because there are more claims filed due to COVID-19.
Many hospitals have stopped elective surgeries and are focusing on COVID-19 cases. How might these things affect my case?
AMany hospitals focused on helping patients with COVID-19 and were also subject to administrative orders that instructed them to delay elective surgeries. These factors may have made it more difficult for you to receive the treatment you need. You must try to seek treatment so that you can prove you were injured and to protect your health.
The news reported that people should avoid emergency rooms right now due to an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus. Should I still seek medical treatment after an accident right now?
AYes. While you do want to be careful about limiting your exposure to COVID-19, you also need to protect your health and continue treatment. Different medical facilities are taking various types of precautions to minimize the risk of infection. You may also be able to receive treatment from your primary care physician or another medical facility that is smaller and less susceptible to an outbreak.
Many states have declared a State of Emergency. Does this affect my insurance if I get into a car wreck?
AMany states have special rules that apply once a state of emergency is declared, including how insurance claims are processed and timelines for investigating such claims. You may also experience delays in your claim because of a sudden influx of claims. Eventually, insurance companies may have to raise rates to try to compensate for the losses they may suffer during this time.
What happens if I contact coronavirus or another illness while I am receiving medical treatment for my personal injury?
AIf you contract another illness while you are receiving treatment for your ongoing case, your medical records must specify which treatments are for which condition. The additional illness may be considered an intervening factor and the party responsible for your accident may not be found legally responsible for these damages. However, the other party may still be held legally responsible for the medical expenses and other damages you incurred due to their negligence.
Can I meet with my lawyer during the COVID-19 pandemic?
ADifferent lawyers are handling this situation differently with some still having in-person meetings while honoring social distancing guidelines. Others are conducting most of their business over the phone and through virtual consultations. Contact us to learn about what arrangements can be made for you.
Will the court be open to hearing my case?
AMany state courts have closed operations to the public, but many are preparing to open back up. However, many are still taking precautions to limit the possibility of spreading the infection by hearing cases and conducting court business remotely by using audiovisual equipment. New cases may not be heard for some time, so things may be back to normal by then. However, your case may settle out of court, so you might not even have to attend a court hearing.
Can I cancel my car insurance to save money?
AIt is illegal to drive a vehicle without insurance. If you get pulled over and you do not have insurance, you can face hefty fines and other consequences, such as possibly losing your driving privileges or having your vehicle towed away. When you obtain car insurance again, it may be much more expensive due to your lapse in coverage and any tickets you got during this time for no insurance. However, if you need to save money and have an alternative way to get to work, this may be a possibility.
Do I need to seek medical treatment after I was injured in a car accident during the coronavirus pandemic?
AYour medical records are one of the most important pieces of evidence that you can provide to substantiate your injuries, their connection to the accident, and their severity. You must seek medical treatment after being injured in an accident. While you may be concerned about contracting the virus while in a hospital or emergency room, there may be other medical facilities where you can seek treatment without significantly increasing your risk of contracting the illness.