When the first news appeared at the end of December last year about a new, mysterious virus from China, few people paid attention to it. Even in China, they did not consider it a serious threat. By the end of January, Wuhan was in complete isolation, but this was still considered a local concern of China, where epidemics occur more frequently than elsewhere in the world. How we were all wrong. By mid-March, the whole world had stopped.
Perhaps for the first time in human history, the entire planet was quarantined. The number of people infected with the coronavirus was so large that hospitals had no room for patients with other problems. The whole world economy has stopped. It was important to maintain a constant supply of food and medicine and it was mostly successful. But all other businesses have been partially or completely shut down, leading to a global financial crisis.
There is no sector that has not been affected by coronavirus-related events. Person injury cases are no different. First of all, it slowed them down a lot because hospitals and courts handled only emergencies. But people are still getting hurt and now that life is slowly returning to normal, everyone is wondering how to proceed with person injury cases. We will do our best to give you the answers in this article.
Delay of medical examinations
We all know that in order to receive compensation for a personal injury, it is required to have all the necessary documents from the doctor. Only in this way will you be able to prove the degree of injury and how much it has affected your life and work. Without it, you will not receive any compensation or it will be a very small amount of money. But as we have already said in the introduction, during the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals that were otherwise available to us became COVID-only. This created huge crowds at other hospitals that received patients who were not contagious. If your injuries were not life-threatening, you may have decided to go home and to see a doctor later.
This is a big mistake because it is necessary for him to examine you soon after the injuries occur in order to get maximum compensation. Also, many do not want to go to the hospital at all, for fear of becoming infected with the coronavirus. This is of course your right, but your personal injury claim will then not be successful. Our advice is to go to the doctor, and follow all the advice of the World Health Organization, such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distance.
Insurance companies are trying to reach a settlement as soon as possible
The financial crisis is also hitting insurance companies hard. Imagine how much money they had to pay to insured companies that suffered damage during a pandemic. Also, tourism has almost completely stopped, so the billions of people who pay for travel insurance every year have not done so now. And of course their shares on the stock market have lost significantly in value.
All this has brought insurance companies to the brink of bankruptcy. For this reason, they want to come to an agreement with you as soon as possible, in order to save money. They hope that you will jump to the first offer and that it will pay you significantly less than it is realistic. They also want to shorten the process as much as possible and not go to court at any cost. Don’t be naive and don’t fall for such attempts.
You need a lawyer more than ever
If you want your personal injury claim to be successful, you need a lawyer. And that’s always the case, but now during a pandemic it’s more important than ever. For the very reasons we mentioned earlier, which are the attempts of insurance companies to reach a settlement as soon as possible, you need an experienced lawyer in this field, in order for the whole process to end in your favor. Due to the situation, your face-to-face meetings may be difficult, but this will not be a problem due to the possibility of video call and email for sending complete documentation.
Visit cunninghamandmears.com to see which personal injury services are offered by lawyers specializing in this area of law. The lawyer has a lot of experience and will make sure to get the best amount possible for the settlement. And also the insurance company will know that since you have a lawyer, you are ready to go to court, which will deter them from trying to offer you an unrealistically low amount of money.
Mentally prepare for a long process
It is a long process anyway, and now it will be even longer. The courts operate at reduced capacity and generally handle urgent matters, such as bail orders and the like. So if you get to court, expect a lot of shifting and postponing the hearing and everything else. Now the hearings have started via video conference, so the situation is improving. Still, know that there is a long and exhausting process ahead of you even without litigation. It is up to you to gather all the documentation, hire a lawyer and wait.
Due to the situation with COVID-19, there is a recession all over the world. For this reason, millions of people lose their jobs, and it is almost impossible to find a new job during this period. This will serve the opposing side to offer you less money, as it will challenge the claim that you could not work as a result of the injury. They will state that this is not the main reason, but problems with the labor market and that they would certainly not be able to find a job. However, insist that you have lost significant money due to inability to work as a result of the injury.
The most important thing is to stay calm and follow the whole procedure. It is clear to you that we are currently living in something called the “new normality” and that is why everything is different than we are used to. But if you persevere, you will succeed.