How Coronavirus will Affect Personal Injury
The coronavirus global pandemic is affecting every part of our lives, from daily childcare to our retirement investments. And yet, in many ways, normal life persists: dogs need to be walked, groceries need to be bought. We may even have to use our cars. And that opens us up to the possibility of an accident.
But what do we do if we’ve had a car accident during this time of crisis?
Medical Attention is Still Important
While hospitals and doctors are currently inundated with coronavirus cases, it’s still important—for your health and your personal injury case—to seek medical treatment. It’s essential that you document your injury at the time of the accident and, if it applies, your treatment and recovery plan. You may be prescribed physical therapy or complementary medical treatment. At this time, many doctors are practicing virtual medicine or telemedicine (by phone). These out-of-the-ordinary treatment options are being covered without charge by most insurers during this time of crisis. What’s important in terms of your personal injury lawsuit is seeking and documenting treatment, including virtual.
Document, Document, Document
This is always important but especially so at a high-tension moment when doctors may not be immediately responsive, call centers for insurance companies are reduced and many other distractions are bombarding us every day. Be sure to take note of when you’ve called with questions. Keep copies of your emails and all billing. Clarity of labeling and filing now will pay off down the road when you need to see where you left the conversation with the insurance agent or the physical therapy referral.
Dealing with Insurance
Similarly, insurance companies may be short-staffed. It may take significantly longer to have an agent assigned and they may be stretched thin. Be sure to work with or consult a lawyer to understand what documentation you should be prepared to have handy for when you do speak with the agent.
Medical Procedures and Lawsuits May Face Delay
As coronavirus cases flood emergency rooms, most hospitals are prioritizing these cases and delaying any non-essential surgeries. That may affect not just your recovery timeline but also knowing the final monetary amount you may be seeking in your car accident lawsuit. But the courts aren’t moving any faster. In order to slow the community spread of the virus, most state courts, including those in Texas have paused operations temporarily.
It’s key in these times when we are trying to limit personal contact to curb the spread of the coronavirus. So going into a lawyer’s office may not be convenient. Working with a team via phone or chat is wisest at this time.