Dealing with a Personal Injury Claimamid COVID-19: What To Do!
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world at an unprecedented rate, creating uncertainties and fear all around. Remote working conditions have been enforced for months now, and it seems likes ages have passed since we came out of our homes without the worries of contracting the deadly virus.
But, what does this situation mean for Fort Worth car accidents claim? Has there been any significant change in how a personal injury claim is handled during these uncertain times? Read on to find out the answers that you’re looking for:
The Impact of a Surgery or Treatment on the Claim
All surgical procedures are being avoided in the hospitals that are facing ventilator shortages and overloaded ICUs. Some surgical processes and urgent diagnostics are being done in outpatient settings, as much as possible. Based on the severity of injuries and the nature of the treatment, you might face delays in completing your treatment.
During this time, you will have to keep in touch with your doctor and document your symptoms and pain. Try to schedule the surgery or treatment as soon as you can. It is still a good idea to complete all the procedures before closing the case, regardless of whether it takes longer in the present scenario.
If you don’t have proper bills for your treatment, your lawyer will not be able to include those exact amounts in your claim. Thus, the insurance company will estimate the procedures recommended to you, and they rarely give much importance to such estimates in their final amount. So, it’s better to complete the treatments before going ahead with a settlement.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Statute Of Limitations
Statute of limitations refers to maximum time from the date of the event within which the legal proceedings have to be started. Generally, the statute of limitations for most states is around two to three years. However, this statute has been changed due to the court closures and the obstacles originating from this pandemic.
Some states, like Texas, the Supreme Court has ordered a suspension of the statute of limitations for an extended time. In many countries, you can get a statute of limitations waivered through an electronically-signed document. Talk to your injury attorney to get more information about the matter.
Car Accidents during a Stay-At-Home Order or the State of Emergency
The car insurance policy must be kept updated, even if you are not going to be on the road as much as you usually do. Also, if you work from home, you will have to drive for medications, food, and other necessary supplies. The good news is that your car insurance policy will cover you, even if you get injured in an accident while driving your car during a stay-at-home mandate.
However, it is best not to drive your car during a state of emergency because the states charge hefty penalties and might even face jail time.
Can Coronavirus Come Under the Personal Injury Claim?
Coronavirus cannot come under your personal injury claim all by itself. Remember that you can only file a personal injury claim when an entity or individual’s intentional or careless actions have caused the injury. Getting infected with coronavirus is undoubtedly an injury that can cause bodily harm. But, in this case, your claim will not be valid just because you have been injured.
The infection would need to be caused by a negligent or intentional act of any third party. It can stem from a medical service provider’s negligence or improper treatment, or being assaulted by a person infected with the virus. You might have a valid claim due to coronavirus, but it depends on your specific circumstances.
How Does the Current Situation Change Personal Injury Lawyer Consultations?
You can still consult with a reputed personal injury lawyer in your area before deciding what to do with your claim. The only difference would be that the consultation will happen over phone or video calls during these times. The lawyers are still offering free consultations, as usual.
Three vital steps to follow after an accident
The circumstances have changed remarkably due to pandemic, but you still need to take specific steps to make the most out of your personal injury claim.
Dial 9-1-1 without delay:
Local law enforcement officers have to be immediately called after you have been in an accident. Let them assess the scene, gather statements from eyewitnesses, and notice any damage done to your vehicle. This police report will help you in proving liability for the claim with the insurance companies.
Get The Treatment Well-Documented:
You will still need to seek and document your treatment to use it when you make your personal injury claim, regardless of whether your claim is filed now or later. If your injuries are such that you do not need to visit a hospital immediately, you can use other options like telemedicine. Patients who are apprehensive about visiting hospitals due to coronavirus can also get virtual doctor consultations.
Even virtual consultations will help your case because the doctor will update your health records over the call, and suggest the treatments you need to be on the path to recovery.
Keep Records Of The Entire Incident:
It would help if you documented your pain and symptoms each day after the accident. Note down when you started feeling the pain and how severe it was. Mention where the pain is located and how it impacts your day-to-day activities. Your physician will need these details to offer you the right treatment, and all the related costs can be included in your claim.
The Bottom Line
As you can well understand, you can still file personal injury claims in these uncertain times. Only a few aspects of the law and the ways of approaching the claim have changed, but the general regulations remain the same. However, the information mentioned above only offers overall guidelines. Contact a personal injury lawyer to understand how these guidelines apply in your case.