Will COVID-19 Delay Your Car Accident Claim?
With the increase of COVID-19 closings across the country, many personal injury plaintiffs want to know if they should expect delays in their accident claim cases. It’s important to remember that the reopening process will continue in phases, and certain businesses must follow appropriate mitigation requirements. While the physical buildings may be closed in New Jersey, the legal process can still continue throughout the state.
COVID-19 and Your Case
For personal injury plaintiffs in New Jersey, there should be little to no impact on claims and resolutions. Many nonessential businesses were forced to close under the stay-at-home order. However, your attorneys are still hard at work for your legal needs. For many offices, there have been limited disruptions to day-to-day operations. Teleconferencing options are available to keep you updated on your specific case. The state may have stopped for COVID-19, but the legal process continues to operate as usual.
Impacts in the Courtroom
COVID-19 has affected the practice of law in the courtroom. In some cases, emergency hearings are still being held. However, for the most part, fewer cases are being conducted inside the courthouse. Many depositions have been rescheduled, hearings postponed, and deadlines extended. While that might sound like bad news, your accident lawyer is still working on your case. The investigations and negotiations can all be handled outside of the courthouse. With many people locked down and focused on work, it could be easier to reach legal counsel for information related to a case.
Of course, there are some downsides to the COVID-19 lockdown. With the stay-at-home orders and courts closed, there is a tremendous backlog of cases. You might not see a resolution for a couple of months. Even when the stay-at-home orders are lifted, your accident case might not be resolved as quickly as you would expect under normal circumstances. Many personal injury cases do have one court hearing before the parties can reach an agreement. If you have not filed an accident claim, you could face delays as the courts begin to reopen throughout the state.
Settlements Could Be Affected
COVID-19 has created financial stress for many people in the state. As a result of this, many accident victims are motivated to settle their cases as soon as possible. If you’ve lost a job, you might need to get some money right away. Unfortunately, some insurance agencies are exploiting this situation by offering low settlements. Before you accept an offer, you need to think twice about any settlement terms. In some cases, the compensation will not cover the scope of the individual’s losses.
If you need to litigate your case, you could experience higher resistance from the insurance companies. As profits decline with the economy, an insurer will need to minimize the value of your claim to protect its bottom line. With this line of logic from the insurance companies, there could be more accident cases going to trial.
With some claims, it could be more difficult to collect compensation from a defendant. As many businesses suffer from economic pressure, they might not be able to fulfill all their legal and financial obligations. If the defendant files for bankruptcy, the accident victim would have to wait to collect the judgment award.
Before you start to worry about your case, your accident attorney will work hard to prevent any of those scenarios. An experienced lawyer knows how to negotiate and settle a case for its actual value. Legal counsel will continue to work for you throughout this entire pandemic.
You Can Still File a Claim
Accidents will continue to occur during the lockdown, which means people will need access to accident lawyers. You can still conduct business with a law firm and file a personal injury claim. Despite the COVID-19 closings, you must file a claim by a specific deadline. If you fail to do that, you might not be able to reclaim any financial damages from your case.
An Experienced Accident Claim Lawyer
If you’ve been injured or you have questions about a case, contact the legal team at Rebenack Aronow & Mascolo, L.L.P. We can represent you through these unusual times. Call our New Brunswick, NJ, office at (732) 247-3600, our Somerville, NJ, office at (908) 448-2560, or our Freehold, NJ, office at (732) 828-2234 to schedule a consultation.