If you were injured in a personal injury accident, the last thing you’d expect to interfere with pursuing your legal remedies is a global pandemic like COVID-19. Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus has impacted almost every aspect of your life since the governor’s announcement of New York State on PAUSE, otherwise known as Policies Assure Uniform Safety for Everyone. Many non-urgent legal matters have been put on hold as residents stay at home to contain the spread of the virus. The current situation probably raises some concerns about your legal remedies and whether you can still recover compensation for your losses.
The good news is that you don’t give up your rights because of the COVID-19 pandemic, even though there are a few factors that affect your case. Your New York personal injury attorney is still working hard to get the monetary damages you deserve, but some basic information should alleviate your concerns.
Implications for Your Medical Treatment: Getting proper care is essential for a prompt recovery from your injuries and your general well-being. It’s also important because it supports your personal injury claim. For these two reasons, you should do your best to keep regular appointments with your physician and treating specialists during the COVID-19 crisis. Many health care providers can conduct health assessments via video conferencing and other virtual tools, so you won’t be putting yourself at risk of exposure.
Maintaining constant communication with your doctor generates medical records, which are key evidence in injury claims related to:
- Car and truck crashes;
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
- Slips, trips, falls and other incidents on dangerous property;
- Medical malpractice; and,
- Many other incidents.
Insurance Claims and Settlement Negotiations: If you’ve filed a claim with the responsible party’s insurer, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns shouldn’t affect your rights. Claims may take longer because many adjusters are working from home or have extremely heavy caseloads. There may be delays along several stages of the process, as the insurance company:
- Processes your claims forms and assesses support documentation;
- Conducts its own internal investigation regarding your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident; and,
- Prepares to make an offer to settle your claim.
The next steps involve settlement negotiations, which are often successful in resolving your claim. If you can’t reach an agreement, you’ll need to file a lawsuit in court. The process can take some time due to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, but you have three years to initiate litigation under New York’s three-year statute of limitations.
Pending Lawsuits and Trials: If you’ve already filed a lawsuit for your personal injury case, you should note that the New York State Unified Court system is only open for emergency matters through virtual channels as described in an April 6, 2020 press release. Though some court hearings will be rescheduled into the future, your attorney can continue to work diligently on your case. Despite COVID-19, documentary discovery, motion briefings, and status conferences can still go forward as scheduled. When courts reopen on a normal schedule, your case will proceed as usual.
Rely on a New York Personal Injury Lawyer
No matter where your matter falls along the typical timeline of a personal injury case, our team at The Mandel Law Firm will proceed with the necessary tasks. COVID-19 may have stalled some issues, but we’re ready to work on all essential tasks to pursue your claim and protect your rights. To learn more about how we can assist throughout the legal process, please contact our Manhattan office at (646) 770-3868 or fill out an online contact form. We can set up a consultation to review the details of your case.