If you have a personal injury case in progress, you may be wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect your case. Will it drag on for additional weeks or even months? Could it be put on hold indefinitely?
While an indefinite holding pattern is unlikely, increased demand for medical services and amended operating hours for courts across New York State can potentially prolong the resolution of your case. Let’s take a closer look at why and how.
Medical services are in high demand
To maximize the value of your personal injury claim, you may have to undergo an extensive medical regimen that includes surgery, physical therapy, progress checks, and additional procedures if necessary.
If you don’t receive all doctor-recommended treatment, it can affect your case, which is why claimants are worried. Those who aren’t actively avoiding hospitals to avoid exposure to the virus are unable to get a doctor’s appointment, resulting in treatment delays and possibly a lower case value. What can you do?
The important thing is to keep your personal injury attorney informed. If you cannot see your doctor due to coronavirus concerns and demand on medical resources, let your counsel know and make active efforts to get the first appointment you can.
This is a difficult issue: without treatment, it’s next to impossible to prove the extent of your injuries. Once an appointment is confirmed, take all recommended precautions, like sitting at least six feet away from others, washing your hands and applying hand sanitizer, and not touching your face.
Courthouse schedules and operations have changed
Courthouses across New York State have transitioned to limited and remote operations, which has affected existing caseloads. If the other side refuses to make a fair settlement offer, your case will have to be litigated, which presents challenges under the current circumstances. Your case may now take longer to resolve, but your personal injury attorney will do what they reasonably can to keep your case moving along within the new guidelines.
Insurance companies may push back
Faced with declining profits, insurance companies can be expected to resist a fair settlement for your injuries. This won’t deter your personal injury attorney, who is there to fight for you, but if litigation becomes necessary, it will take longer to achieve a resolution.
What if you are injured today?
If you are in a car accident or slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may be tempted to wait until the COVID-19 pandemic passes before calling a personal injury attorney. Don’t do it- get legal representation as soon as possible. Waiting to take action can hurt your case more than any courthouse or appointment delays. Most firms will communicate with you by phone and video and complete the intake process electronically, so don’t delay.
Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York personal injury and accident attorney. If you were injured, then call his office at 718-329-9500 to learn more about your legal rights during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Lutzky offers free phone consultations. More information about the cornonavirus pandemic can be found here.