Will COVID-19 Impact My Personal Injury Case?
Do you have a personal injury case to pursue and are you worried about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on your court case or compensation claim?
It’s not fair that an accident that is no fault of your own causes you injury in the first place. Then, to not be able to receive the compensation you deserve for your losses in a timely manner is rubbing salt into the wound.
However, the past couple of months have seen unprecedented times. Times have been challenging for people around the country and the justice system has not escaped the consequences.
Here in New York, we have been the hardest hit metropolitan area in the country. The knock-on effects for the legal system have been profound.
Despite the grave challenges, some legal teams have been busy remotely working on personal injury cases and have been able to keep things moving forward as best as possible for clients during the lockdown.
Impacts of COVID-19 on personal injury cases
The most important impact of COVID-19 on personal injury cases is the restrictions placed on hospitals that prevent (or at least make extremely difficult) the delivery of non-urgent medical care.
While you should have received prompt emergency medical care after an accident or other serious adverse health event, receiving physical therapy or orthopedic care may have been impossible over the past couple of months.
This type of rehabilitative care is frequently needed after accidents – whether road accidents or falls in nursing homes.
Some people requiring medical attention for injuries may have been able to receive some help with telemedicine (videoconferencing using Zoom or Skype, for instance).
At least, medical professionals may have been able to document injuries and symptoms and offer basic treatment such as home exercise therapies or similar.
However, for others, receiving the care they have needed may have been impossible. This lack of adequate care may have worsened the condition or at least delayed healing and rehabilitation.
Generally, in personal injury cases, it is relatively simple to claim for medical expenses but what do you do if you have not incurred much in the way of medical expenses because you couldn’t receive the care you needed?
This is an almost unprecedented situation.
The difficult situation for people with personal injury cases in New York has been exacerbated by the closure of the courts here.
COVID-19 and New York courts
The closure of courts in New York is another reason why COVID-19 may have impacted your personal injury case.
With only essential legal business being conducted during the period, this has created delays and a backlog of personal injury cases.
Only the most urgent hearings have progressed – mainly criminal cases in the City Courts, child custody/support cases in Family Courts, and guardianship proceedings in the Supreme Court (often with virtual court proceedings).
Civil Statutes of Limitations were suspended as of March 20th, no jury trials were held, and all court operations have been scaled back.
Despite the restrictions during this time, some attorneys have still been able to help victims in personal injury cases.
They have been able to evaluate cases, research and investigate the circumstances of accidents and injuries, and start out-of-court proceedings associated with client cases.
They have also been able to prepare cases to be filed when the restrictions are lifted.
After all, the pandemic has not prevented avoidable accidents from continuing to occur. Negligent actions that should not happen at any time have continued during the crisis.
You or a loved one should never have to suffer unnecessarily because of the negligent actions of medical staff in a hospital or nursing home, for instance.
Delays are inevitable but they don’t have to stop you from filing a claim and they certainly shouldn’t deter you from proceeding with your case.
With the situation changing constantly, it is important to stay across announcements from the government so that, as the courts continue to open and relative normality returns to the court system, your personal injury case can be followed up on as soon as possible by your attorney.
COVID-19 and insurance companies
Insurance companies have also been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Many are overrun with claims and, unless you have legal representation following up on your behalf, you may be at the bottom of the pile.
Like with law firms, many staff of insurance companies are working remotely, leading to delays in claims being processed.
Those that do not push hard are likely to suffer from severe delays to claims being settled and paid.
Do you have a personal injury case impacted by COVID-19?
In New York, we survived 9/11 and other huge challenges. We will also survive COVID-19.
While we have all experienced difficulties and delays, this does not reduce the importance of arriving at an outcome that can help you move on from your injury.
At Sinel & Olesen PLLC, we are still here for you despite the restrictions imposed in New York due to COVID-19.
Our attorneys have been working from remote offices, looking after the most critical aspects of cases and, wherever possible, pushing ahead with personal injury claims.
Whether you or a family member are waiting for the resolution of a personal injury claim or you need to make a new claim for a recent injury, we can help you reach a successful outcome.
Please contact us for an initial consultation.
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My attorney was meticulous, intelligent, and had an exceptional demeanor with the judge and jurors. When the Jury verdict was returned in our favor I hugged my lawyer and cried. It wasn’t just the money that was so satisfying, it was being in the Courtroom with the doctor and their lawyers when the Judge told them the jury found them responsible.
We were not only pleased with the monetary award, but to see these facilities held accountable, we finally had some closure. I would recommend Sinel & Olesen, PLLC, to any family with a case involving bedsores or medical issues against a nursing home or hospital.
Elliot Sinel was our trial attorney and our whole family watched the jury trial unfold for two weeks. Watching our lawyer cross exam the defendant doctors and nurses and exposing their neglect in the care for our father gave us all a great sense of satisfaction. The jury awarded us a tremendous sum of money and we all felt vindicated…
Sinel & Olesen, PLLC, never told me to settle, instead they brought the case to trial and combined, a jury gave us close to a million dollars. I was very impressed by the trial attorney and the medical expert surgeon that my lawyers brought to court to testify.
Before the case went to trial, Elliot Sinel convinced the insurance company for the nursing home to pay us a large award. My sisters and I always knew that the medical negligence caused my father to suffer. The settlement gave us a feeling that the facility finally acknowledged their wrongdoing…