How COVID-19 will Affect a Personal Injury Case

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Accidents happen every day, even during a global pandemic. An accident victim can still bring a personal injury claim to pursue compensation for their injuries during the COVID-19 outbreak. But it’s important to know how changes in the legal system may affect personal injury cases.

Delays in case filing

Nationwide, the court system has been largely shut down. As a result, a personal injury case may not be resolved as efficiently as it would be under normal conditions.

Almost all personal injury cases settle before going to trial, but many cases proceed through at least one hearing in a court before the parties reach a settlement. Therefore, some accident victims may face delays in getting their case resolved.

Despite interruptions to the operations of the legal system, you do have time to get your case filed. Don’t be discouraged that just because things can’t move along as quickly that you’ll never get your case heard.

Extension to statute of limitations

Statute of limitations is a state law that sets a limit on the amount of time that can pass between the date of accident that caused the claimed injuries and the filing of a lawsuit over that incident.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives you two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. However, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state court system is offering potential extensions of the statute of limitations. 

As of now, all courts in Texas are allowed to extend the statute of limitations in any civil case for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of disaster has been lifted. This holds true for both unfiled and future cases. Lawyers will continue to monitor the applicable courts to determine extensions as the response to the pandemic progresses.

Remote communication

A personal injury case involves a series of steps that begins with contacting an attorney specializing in personal injury cases. The attorney will interview you and gather information and facts to assess the validity of your case. After assessing your case, the liable party and their insurance company will be notified. It’s at this time the investigation stage begins. This stage can take months as it involves gathering all medical records, bills, etc.

In accordance with CDC recommendations, many law firms are offering virtual meetings. The entire process can be done virtually, from interviewing to gathering critical documents. Anyone involved in any proceeding of any kind can participate remotely by teleconferencing or other means.

This means that the “discovery phase” of your case does not need to be halted. Your attorney can still conduct interrogations and gather necessary facts to carry on with the case. Other changes include the option for video depositions and courts requiring litigants to appear remotely.

Insufficient offers

Current economic turmoil may affect the settlement process and amount offered to you as the injured party. It may be easy to accept the first offer to expedite the process and get your compensation, but the first offer may not be the best.

More cases may go to trial as a result of insufficient offers from an insurer. Even collecting compensation from a defendant may be more challenging with more Americans facing job loss and business closures. Accident victims may also need to wait longer to receive compensation. 

Hiring a personal injury attorney  

Texas law groups across the state have been working to ensure little to no disruptions for those seeking information on personal injury suits. If you’ve been injured and seek to file a personal injury claim, you can start the process now.

Begum Law Group is one of the most technologically advanced law firms in the state with the ability to meet with clients virtually, via video conferencing software. In this manner, clients can discuss your case and even exchange documents from your own home.

To find out how much your personal injury claim is worth, contact The Law Giant right away. With our personal injury offices in Brownsville, Laredo, McAllen, and San Antonio, you can be assured that we can help you and your case no matter where you are in Texas. To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case, contact The Law Giant today today at (866) 723-6414.

Sources:

https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1446056/209042.pdf

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/personalinjury/

https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/personal-injury/personal-injury-lawsuits/can-i-extend-the-statute-of-limitations-deadline-in-my-personal-injury-case.html

https://www.law360.com/articles/1255221/breaking-down-the-texas-courts-covid-19-response

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