The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting nearly every aspect of our daily lives. The legal system is searching for ways to accommodate the social distancing guidelines currently in place in communities across the country. As of early April 2020, several courts have temporarily closed their doors, and trials and hearings are being postponed. Police officers are making fewer arrests, attempting to keep jails from becoming too crowded. For those who have filed or are about to file a personal injury claim, it’s helpful to understand how the COVID-19 outbreak could affect the legal process.
More Pressure to Reach a Settlement
Legal experts are anticipating that, given the economic impact of the global pandemic, many plaintiffs may be tempted to find a fast settlement and resolve their personal injury case as soon as possible. The idea of receiving a lump sum fairly quickly may be attractive to many people who are in the middle of a personal injury case, but it may be worth it to hold on a bit longer until you are offered a more fair settlement. However, there may be other factors at play, such as a panicked company that is suddenly struggling financially. If you’ve filed a claim against them—perhaps you were injured while shopping at a local shop—the business may eventually file for bankruptcy and be unable to compensate you at all. It’s best to talk to your attorney to discuss the strategy for reaching a fast settlement.
Healthcare Options May be Limited
Depending on where you live, you may be unable to receive the medical care you could receive under normal circumstances. With the outbreak of COVID-19, many hospitals are suspending elective procedures to make themselves available to treat people experiencing coronavirus symptoms. If you are not able to meet with your doctor or receive the physical therapy you need to recover from the accident, it may be difficult to prove the full extent of your losses or damages resulting from the incident. Your attorney may advise you to postpone your personal injury claim a bit longer until you can provide a clearer picture of your injuries and the amount of compensation you need to recover.
Changes to Courtroom Procedure
Although most personal injury cases tend to settle, there are still times when both parties need to appear in court to resolve the dispute. You should be prepared for a longer timeline, as courts may be closed for a length of time and your case may face significant delays. It’s helpful to work with your attorney to explore your options and determine the best path forward. As everyone strives to adjust their routines and services to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that you focus on your health and your recovery. Meanwhile, your attorney will continue to seek the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve suffered an injury that was someone else’s fault, Henderson Taylor Law Firm is here to help you win the compensation you deserve. Call our Vancouver office today at (360) 737-1478 to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who will work hard to achieve a successful outcome.