The COVID-19 Pandemic and Personal Injury Claims
While there’s never an ideal time to be dealing with a personal injury case, the moment we’re living through now with the COVID-19 pandemic might just go down as one of the most challenging. It can feel overwhelming. Just as the impact of the virus has been felt far beyond hospitals to childcare, education, and small business, it’s also sent shockwaves through the legal system.
First, it’s important to emphasize that personal injury claims are still moving forward, whether an accident has just happened or you’ve already filed. You don’t have to wait to file a personal injury claim. While you may be doing it by phone or video conference, you should still move forward with any legal action. Don’t delay.
Limitations to Treatment
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to spread across the country, hot spots are cropping up daily. And Texas is currently right at the epicenter. That may mean that treatment or follow-up treatment for personal injury cases may need to be scheduled with some warning and some flexibility. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and doctors’ offices are implementing safeguards to protect patients from exposure to COVID-19. You should not skip necessary medical treatment, rehabilitation, or other recovery medical services because of the pandemic. This may be essential to your case and, more importantly, to your long-term health.
During the global pandemic, many insurance offices have been closed or are working with reduced or remote staff. That will likely slow down claim processing and is something you should take into consideration as you map out your case’s timeline. Insurance companies may also be more interested in denying claims in these times when they may be facing their own financial struggles. They may force more clients to engage in a back-and-forth which of providing documentation—fighting a war of attrition with claimants who simply run out of steam trying to get the insurance company to cover an injury. Insurance companies may increase the pressure on encouraging you to settle. It’s important to keep a clear perspective on this. And securing the help of a legal professional may just be critical in these cases.
If you do seek legal help and your case goes to court, what can you expect? The Supreme Court of Texas is still working during the pandemic via videoconferencing. Legal offices, including ours, are open and offer virtual consultations. In cases where you are involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may want to consider whether the company you are suing can declare bankruptcy. In that case, they may be cleared of any liability and you may never see your settlement. So while the timeline may be getting extended by the COVID-19 crisis, it may be shortened by it as well. In other words, you may want to move fast.
If you have been injured in an accident and are unsure what could be compensated, contact McCraw Law Group. We can help by explaining your options.