Even as several states begin to slowly restart their local economies, most communities across the U.S. are still experiencing significant limitations to their daily lives. With fewer people commuting, auto accidents have become less common. However, injuries that are caused by the reckless or negligent actions of someone else can and do continue to happen. When an injured party decides to seek compensation, they have the right to pursue a personal injury claim. But how has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the personal injury claims process? Let’s take a look.
#1: A Delayed Timeline
By and large, courts across the country have temporarily shut their doors for several weeks in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that it may take longer to file your personal injury claim with the court, as the paperwork may face delays in processing with fewer staff members on-site to complete these tasks. While many personal injury cases are resolved before they head to trial, some cases do require at least one hearing before a settlement is ultimately negotiated. So, be prepared to wait a bit longer than normal for your case to achieve a resolution.
#2: Virtual Tools
In order to reduce the number of in-person appearances, states have taken various actions to encourage alternate forms of communication. In Washington state, most attorneys are offering remote tools to assist clients virtually, such as phone calls and video conferencing. Clients can send important documents to their attorneys via email or other secure systems, and some interviews and interrogation sessions can also occur using remote communication tools.
#3: Financial Considerations
Given the shaky economic situation currently facing the country (and countries around the world), don’t be surprised if the party you are suing offers you a modest settlement amount. While you may want to immediately accept this so you can receive a quick influx of cash to cover your medical costs and lost wages, many attorneys still advise you to wait for a second (or third) offer. Finally, even after a settlement is reached, be prepared for the payment to take longer than it would under normal circumstances.
Throughout these uncertain times, Henderson Taylor Law Firm remains committed to helping Vancouver personal injury victims recover compensation. Call (360) 737-1478 today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.