How Coronavirus Is Affecting Personal Injury Claims
The global spread of the coronavirus brought many economies to their knees. Many nations resorted to locking their citizens and residents indoors to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus. While the world was on lockdown, many basic and economic activities suffered. People who had pending cases in court or those looking to press fresh civil or criminal charges also suffered. Accident victims weren’t left out of the fray. However, how much did the coronavirus pandemic impact personal injury victims and their claims? A personal injury attorney explains all there is to know about the pandemic effect on personal injury claims.
How Coronavirus Is Affecting Your Personal Injury Case
The coronavirus pandemic is far from over. Many businesses were badly affected and economies suffered significant losses from the lockdown. Many employees lost their jobs and others have been confined to a new work environment, their homes. All of these developments have specific impacts on the plight of accident injury victims and their chances of claiming compensation. Below are some of the ways the pandemic has affected accident and personal injury claims.
Increased Financial Pressure
The pandemic was responsible for the economic downturn and recession in many economies. Businesses of all sizes suffered losses and had to cut down their staff size to minimize their expenses. Staff retrenchment led to an increased unemployment rate which further complicated issues for many. An increase in the unemployment rate meant that more people became financially unstable. Insurance companies understand that financially unstable people are often desperate and as such take this as an advantage over claimants.
Due to the rising unemployment rate and financial instability, many claimants are under pressure to take the first settlement offer by insurance companies. However, this first settlement may not necessarily be a true reflection of the claimant’s losses. For example, a claimant whose personal injury case is estimated to be worth about $100,000 may be offered less, say about $10,000 by the insurance company. The claimant may be forced to take the settlement to offset some of their debts.
At this point, it is more important for claimants to work closely with their lawyers to ensure that they get the right advice that’ll save them from making the wrong choices. Settling for less by taking the first offer can put you in a financially difficult position at a later date, especially when you’re unable to meet the demands caused by the accident.
Only Use Necessary Medical Care
Hospitals, healthcare facilities, and clinics have become a hotspot for COVID-19 infection due to the increased population of infected persons. It may now be harder for personal injury victims to get the level of care that they deserve, especially as they may need to stay away from healthcare facilities to reduce their chances of contracting the virus.
This development may contravene the earlier advice that accident victims should seek medical assistance as soon as they’ve suffered an injury. However, accident victims should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their current medical predicament and find a solution that’ll alleviate their pain and discomfort. A great way to navigate this is to choose home care services if you can afford to. It increases the chances of healing early and also reduces exposure to the virus.
Nationwide Court Slowdown
Similar to other businesses and parastatals, courts had to shut down at some point during the pandemic to reduce human physical contact which can further spread the virus. In some areas, lawyers only had access to remote communication with courts, and this changed the dynamics of the court process and proceedings. The shutdown of many courts across the nation can further delay the victim’s personal injury claim, especially when the case has gone to trial. The extra time taken due to court closures can frustrate the plight of injured victims and make them susceptible to taking settlement offers that are below their claim’s worth.
Loss of Income or Job
The economic effect of the pandemic was evident in the increased number of people who became jobless. Many businesses shut down and shut their doors thus causing employees to leave without a source of income to rely on. Accident victims who lost their jobs during the pandemic found themselves in a financially tough spot that may cause them to compromise their stand. For example, an accident victim who was willing to fight till the end to get the full worth of their case may suddenly have a change of mind and resume negotiations.
Insurance companies, on the other hand, understand this power play too well and may further drive down their settlement offer to save money. Victims may have no other option than to collect the low offer presented by the insurance company, especially as they have no idea when the lockdown may be called off or when they may get a new job to sustain their financial needs.
Most Interactions With Lawyers Are Now Remote
In the past, people were able to walk into their lawyer’s offices to physically discuss their personal injury cases, seek advice, and more. However, after the pandemic, this has become largely impossible. Many lawyers shut their offices and chose the remote option to address their clients. Clients had to discuss their cases via phone or on video conferencing platforms. This development removed the human touch that a lot of accident victims would have loved to enjoy.
Slow or Non-Payment of Insurance Premiums
Accident victims who had agreed to settlement plans prior to the pandemic or those that accepted settlements during the pandemic also faced the problem of slow or non-payment from insurance providers. The reason for this can be linked back to the loss of employment and financial instability of the majority of the workforce. Many people who lost their jobs were unable to pay their insurance premiums or paid late which put them and the insurance company at risk.
All of these factors have in some ways complicated the personal injury claims process during the pandemic. However, it is still a wise choice to choose an attorney to represent you in such a case. Looking for a personal injury lawyer? Visit https://halelaw.com/
Hale Law, P.A.,
2803 Fruitville Road Suite 240 Sarasota FL 34237,
Find us on Social Media