How the Coronavirus Pandemic Might Delay an Injury Claim
If you were injured in an accident, you may be unsure if you can still file an injury claim. Even if you can, you may have questions about whether the process could be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are valid concerns to discuss with a licensed New Jersey personal injury lawyer at the Lynch Law Firm, PC. We offer a free legal consultation and there are no upfront fees for our services.
Delays in Medical Treatment and Court Closures
Accident victims need to receive medical treatment to determine the injuries they suffered, their severity and the treatments needed. This allows attorneys to determine the value of medical bills and other damages.
However, many healthcare facilities are concentrating their limited resources on treating people with the coronavirus. That means it may take longer than usual to obtain treatment, particularly if your situation is not considered an emergency. This may ultimately delay your claim because your lawyer will need to wait until your treatment is concluded before attempting to settle your claim.
We understand you may be worried about contracting COVID-19 when you seek treatment, which is why you should call the hospital or doctor’s office before going. They can explain safety precautions you can take to help avoid contracting the virus.
It is important to the potential value of your claim that you attend your scheduled medical appointments and follow your doctor’s orders.
Insurance Companies May Drag Their Feet
In the wake of massive layoffs and closed businesses, insurance company profits may decline. This may cause insurance companies to delay settling claims because they feel they cannot afford to pay out too much money right now. Insurance companies may also be hoping to take advantage of accident victims’ financial uncertainty – people may be more likely to accept a lowball settlement offer because they need the money right away.
Restrictions on Jury Trials
Federal courts in New Jersey are postponing all jury trials that are scheduled to begin before April 30 to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, filing deadlines remain in effect unless the judge assigned to the case modifies them. There could be many reasons the judge may consider extending a filing or scheduling date, such as health and safety concerns, travel considerations or directives from public officials.
The chief judge will determine whether to convene any jury trial that is covered by the order. Judges can conduct hearings, conferences and bench trials as they see fit.
To combat some of the potential delays caused by court closures and other measures related to coronavirus, some courts are encouraging remote hearings. Judges are being encouraged to conduct proceedings via videoconferencing or by telephone. This helps parties, witnesses, lawyers and staff avoid travel.
As courts change their existing procedures and learn to use new technology, cases may initially take longer to resolve as staff learn how to use these new models.
Lynch Law Firm, PC Allows You to Do a Free Consultation at Home
Even though there is much less activity on the roads and on public and private property, accidents are still going to happen. When they do, it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim, so it is important to get started as soon as possible.
Lynch Law Firm, PC has the technology to do your free consultation from the comfort and safety of your own home. eSign allows you to sign legal documents electronically, so there is still no need for a face-to-face meeting. Call today to learn more about how we are prepared to continue representing injury victims during the pandemic and help keep our community safe.
Contact us today to schedule your free at-home consultation. (800) 518-0508