Will COVID-19 have an effect on my case?
Your doctor can limit appointments and it can be difficult to access services such as physical therapy, which may be needed to determine the full severity of your injuries.
If you’re following a personal injury case in the middle of COVID-19, you have probably wondered how your case will be affected. Like any other aspect of life in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has required some changes in the legal system and policy.
Coronavirus Impact on Legal Proceedings
COVID has forced the shutdown of hundreds of thousands of businesses, buildings and facilities in the US for weeks or months, and the judicial system has not been spared. Many courthouses have now reopened, but things are very different from usual. As expected, the courts have been grappling with backlogs and delays for months and these will continue to affect cases for the foreseeable future.
If you have to physically appear in court during the pandemic, some new rules related to coronavirus will apply. You’ll likely need to wear a mask and be socially distant, and many buildings have severely limited the number of people you can bring with you.
Fortunately, there is a good chance that you can avoid physical appearance altogether. Courts have too many cases before them and are too important to the functioning of society to be closed completely. As a result, many courts have moved to virtual trials to ensure the case of trial. If your case requires legal proceedings, you will most likely be asked to participate virtually. This may be a very different experience than expected and won’t be without the hiccups, but it’s the best way to safely complete procedures without exposing anyone to the coronavirus.
Virtual procedures present a logistical challenge compared to personal affairs, as no one is in the same room at the same time to keep everyone on the same page. Technical problems are always a threat, and access to the technology they need can be a problem for some.
Pressure to settle down
You may be under a lot of pressure from all quarters to resolve your case quickly, which of course, results in less money for you. Unfortunately, in times of high unemployment, a stuttering economy and numerous insecurities, financial pressure is a massive problem for many people. If you are in dire need of money, it may be inevitable that you will have less money than you could have got if you had the luxury of waiting patiently for the best deal possible. It’s hard to say no to money in your pocket when that pocket is currently empty.
Another thing to think about is the financial situation of the defendant in your case. If you sue a company that has been badly affected by the pandemic, especially those that have been idle for an extended period of time, the company may have very little or no money left and is at serious risk of bankruptcy. In the event the company files for bankruptcy, you may just be one of several creditors and never see the money you should have received.
Photo by Abby Anaday on Unsplash
Delays in medical care can mean a delay in your case
Finally, for personal injury claims, it is important to have an accurate medical picture of the injuries sustained. This can be difficult if you live in an area where hospitals are overcrowded with COVID patients and cannot treat them under less dire circumstances. Your doctor can limit appointments and it can be difficult to access services such as physical therapy, which may be needed to determine the full severity of your injuries.
Visit our website to contact a New York Personal Injury attorney if you have any questions or concerns and need an attorney to represent you with your personal injury case.