If you’ve been in a collision and have a pending personal injury case, you’re probably wondering how the ongoing Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation may affect your case. As a result of the virus, many organizations and courts may be shifting their hours or available services, so it’s easy to understand why those with a personal injury case may be concerned.
Rest assured that your Phoenix Personal Injury Law Firm is taking a proactive approach to providing legal services to current and potential clients. Read on to learn how the Coronavirus/COVID-19 may affect your personal injury case.
“The Timing Couldn’t Be Worse”
As any Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer will tell you, our clients often say that “this collision couldn’t have happened to me at a worse time.” Today, that sentiment has never been more relevant, thanks to the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
As if being in a car crash isn’t bad enough, now there are new scenarios that complicate an already complicated situation:
- Imagine that you’re already experiencing pain from an injury, and now you’re also forced to choose between seeking medical care for that injury and risking exposure to the Coronavirus.
- Now imagine making the equally difficult decision between choosing to protect yourself from exposure to COVID-19 through isolation, which means ending non-emergency medical care.
These aren’t choice anyone wants to make, and it’s easy to see how much additional anxiety these terrible options create. Those who choose to seek medical treatment may experience stress about their heightened risk of contracting Coronavirus. Those who choose to avoid the risk and forego treatment will suffer with pain and discomfort that could have been fixed, but for a lack of safe medical treatment.
Both options lead to increased anxiety… is there any recourse? How might Coronavirus factor into pre-litigation settlement negotiations, or with a judge or jury in litigation?
Consider that the RAJI (Civil) 6th – Personal Injury Damages 1 requires a jury to award damages for “pain, discomfort, suffering, disability, disfigurement, and anxiety already experienced, and reasonably probable to be experienced in the future as a result of the injury.” Our experienced Phoenix Personal Injury Law Firm will work to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, taking the additional anxiety and discomfort caused by the Coronavirus into account.
How Will Coronavirus Affect My Personal Injury Case Timeline?
Your personal injury case is important, and it shouldn’t have to be put on hold. However, the circumstances of the Coronavirus outbreak mean that many industries have limited their hours or are experiencing reduced staffing. While each personal injury case is unique, these slowdowns may impact your case.
Paperwork, Information Requests, and Appointments
You should be aware that the Coronavirus situation may slow down your personal injury case timeline.
For instance, insurance and other industry-related companies may have limited office hours or be short-staffed. This may lead to delays in the time it takes to process requests for bills, records and other information, such as property damage repair estimates, photographs, acknowledgment letters, and automobile policies and declarations pages. Receiving and paying invoices may also take longer than normal to process.
It may also take longer to set up inspections and repairs of property damage or total loss. You should anticipate that tasks such as setting up car rentals, preparing and sending demands, receiving settlement checks, and negotiating or securing reductions from medical providers will also take longer than they would under normal circumstances.
Are Arizona Courts Still in Session?
What if your case was scheduled to go to court? For many, delays may be expected.
As of late March, some Arizona courts have delayed trials or switched to online formats. Your Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer will keep you updated as to your case’s specific details.
What Should I Do If I Have an Ongoing Personal Injury Matter in Phoenix?
If you’ve been in an accident, you likely have many concerns. Worrying about your personal injury case on top of the ever-changing news about the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation can lead to significant stress and anxiety.
Your case is important to us. Our Phoenix Personal Injury Law Firm is committed to helping our clients through these difficult times. That’s why we have taken measures to continue providing services and pushing your case toward resolution.
For you, this means that even if courthouses are closed, your Phoenix Personal Injury lawyer can continue taking steps in your case. We understand that you may depend on receiving compensation, especially if you’re unable to work due to an injury or due to Coronavirus-related closures.
Our firm has the infrastructure in place to diligently continue working on cases, including videoconferencing, conference calls, remote computer access, and other digital resources. We will continue responding to client questions and working as a team to keep cases on track.
What If I Get in An Accident?
Accidents don’t stop just because there are fewer people on the roads. If you’ve been injured, you’ll still need access to an experienced personal injury lawyer. You’ll still have questions that need answers, and you’ll still be able to file a claim.
If you’ve been injured, you still need to seek medical treatment. While we understand some may feel reluctant to seek care when medical facilities are overwhelmed — and that some may worry about being exposed to COVID-19 if they visit a medical facility — medical treatment is a necessary component in resolving cases.
As the victim in an accident, you should make treatment appointments and do your best to honor them. It’s very difficult to prove the extent of injuries without medical records.
If medical facilities are overrun or doctors’ appointments aren’t available, your treatment may be delayed. That may mean that the resolution of your case is delayed but doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in your case value.
When you do visit the doctor, you can take precautions such as washing your hands frequently, refraining from touching your face, and sitting a good distance away from other patients. If you’re unable to make or keep appointments, keeping your Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyer updated on your situation is key.
For the time being, the Coronavirus has upended daily life. However, your case is important. Being aware of possible delays and the potential for damages due to anxiety is key, as we continue to seek the resolution and compensation you deserve.