If you have recently been involved in a car accident, been injured by a dog bite or defective product, or slipped and fell while walking through a store, chances are you have a personal injury lawsuit in the works. However, as the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the United States, many changes have come to how courts and attorneys are handling cases. If you are concerned about how the pandemic may affect your case, you are not alone. Yet, while things may look and feel quite different, the good news is that by working with attorneys who use the latest technology and began preparations well before the pandemic, you can still make significant progress on your personal injury case and possibly even have it resolved.
Documenting Your Injuries
Hopefully, you were able to complete the majority of medical treatment needed for your injuries prior to the pandemic. By doing so, your injuries will already be fully documented in your medical records. However, even if this was not possible, you can still meet with doctors in-person and remotely through video technology to discuss your treatment and prognosis. If you can leave your home, you can schedule appointments with doctors at their offices while not putting yourself at risk, since they are usually limiting the number of people in the building at any one time. By continuing to follow through on your medical needs, insurance companies will have less chance to claim your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
While you may still be able to visit a doctor, likely, your case will not be able to be heard inside a courtroom at the moment. Since most state and federal courts are closed due to the pandemic, you may think your case will grind to a standstill. However, that does not have to happen. Though your personal injury lawyers may not be able to currently argue your case in front of a jury, they will still be able to interact with judges to discuss various details of your case. Thus, even if the defendant is attempting to stall due to the pandemic, your attorney can still make sure your case moves forward.
Insurance Company Negotiations
While nobody is happy to see a pandemic sweep across the United States, the fact is many insurance companies know this could have a major impact on how many personal injury cases play out in the coming months. Because of this, you must work with attorneys who are determined to move your case forward and do everything possible to reach a settlement that provides you with maximum compensation. By using video technology such as Skype and Zoom, your personal injury lawyers can schedule meetings with insurance company representatives and continue negotiations on your behalf. While somewhat unconventional, so long as your lawyer has built a strong case and has overwhelming evidence supporting your claims, insurance companies can still be forced to settle even under these unusual circumstances.
Make Sure Your Lawyers Are Aggressive
If you have a pending personal injury lawsuit currently underway, make sure your attorneys stay aggressive despite the pandemic. To begin with, ensure that the vast majority of details associated with your case can be handled through digital technology. This should include your law firm having the ability to use paperless technology, electronic signatures, and interactive video technology to continue meeting with insurance companies, judges, and even witnesses. If your firm does not have these capabilities, you may want to consider switching firms. However, if your firm has invested in state-of-the-art technology, your lawyers should be able to proceed mostly as planned. But to make sure this occurs, speak with them consistently to get regular updates about your case.
Motions, Depositions, and Discovery
With any personal injury case, it will be vital that your attorney file numerous motions with the court as well as make ample use of the discovery process. Also, depositions are important since they can reveal key evidence associated with your case. As for the discovery process, your attorneys should still be able to use technology to submit evidence, examine various documents and other evidence, and exchange discovery materials with insurance companies and lawyers for the defendant. Though it may take a little longer to make arrangements to speak with witnesses and others, your lawyer should be able to utilize the latest technology to move your case forward at a reasonable pace.
Don’t Be Intimidated
While it will be natural to be upset during the coronavirus pandemic, insurance companies and others may try to use this to their advantage to intimidate you into delaying or even dropping your personal injury case. If you have had such thoughts, do not give in to them. Since an insurance company will usually do everything possible to avoid paying personal injury claims, it is best if you do not choose to have many conversations with them on your own. Instead, let your attorney do your talking for you. By doing so, your attorney can let the insurance company know your case is moving forward and settlement negotiations will continue, which will put additional pressure on the insurance company to reach a settlement sooner rather than later.
Always Ask Questions
Since your case will be playing out under such unusual circumstances, don’t stop asking questions regarding your case. Whenever you are meeting with your lawyers, even if you are doing so via Skype or Zoom, always take the time to ask any and all questions you may have about your case. From settlement offers to finding out when your attorneys think your case may be resolved, getting answers to these questions can be crucial to giving you the peace of mind needed during this stressful time. Remember, since your future is in the hands of your attorney, do not sit back and relinquish control. Instead, stay aggressive so that you can receive the compensation you need and deserve.