Call Today For Your Free Consultation
No Fee Unless We Win (941) 954-4000

Impact of COVID-19 on Personal Injury Cases

September 29, 2020 Legal Team
Impact of COVID-19 on Personal Injury Cases

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. Personal 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 personal injury cases. We will do our best to give you the answers in this article.

Challenges of Seeking Personal Injury Compensation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We all know that to receive Personal Injury, you have to have all the necessary documents from a doctor. It requires an “expert opinion” and evaluation to 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, or nominal, compensation. During the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals that were otherwise available to use for this purpose became COVID-only, or at least deferred non-life threatening emergencies. This created huge crowds at other medical facilities – all of which had their restrictions around appointments. If your injuries were not life-threatening, you might go home and see a doctor later.

This would be a big mistake because they must examine you soon after the injuries occur to receive maximum compensation. All this, while many do not want to go to the hospital at all, for fear of becoming infected with the coronavirus. It is, of course, your right to defer medical treatment based on the reality of the times, but your Personal Injury claim may become compromised over that decision. Go to the doctor, or an emergency center, while following all the advice of the World Health Organization, such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.

Insurance Companies Are Trying to Reach a Settlement as Soon as Possible

The financial crisis is also hitting insurance companies, and hard. We certainly do not intend a “poor me” session about the plight of insurance companies, but this insight helps in negotiations. Imagine how much money insurance companies pay out to insured companies that suffered damage during the pandemic. And of course, nearly all stocks have either lost significantly in value or have fluctuated like a Yo-yo in the hands of a master.

All this has brought many Personal Injury insurance companies to the brink of bankruptcy.

For this reason, they want to come to an agreement with you as soon as possible, to save money. They hope that you will jump on the first offer and that it will pay you significantly less than it is realistic during different times. They also want to shorten the process as much as possible and avoid 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. That’s typically great advice. 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 and as small as possible. You need an experienced lawyer in this field, to tip the scales of justice in your favor, not theirs. Due to the pandemic, face-to-face meetings may be difficult, embrace online platforms like ZOOM. However, in Florida, both parties are required to permit to record the audio of a conversation. Be hesitant about approving the use of video, as EVERYTHING said becomes undeniably on the record, and interviewers are well trained on getting you to “trip up.

Our lawyers have over a hundred years of experience and have collected in aggregate hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. We will make sure to get the best settlement possible for your injuries. In addition, your insurance company will be “put on notice” that you are represented by legal counsel, and many of the games they could get away with the average person, are likely no longer available to them. Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann, Get Me Justice is known as litigators, not just settlement pros, your insurance company should recognize your willingness to “take it to court” are far more likely than the typical claim.

You Should be Mentally Prepared for a Long Process of Personal Injury Cases.

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. When you get to court, expect a lot of shifting and postponed hearings. Hearings have started via video conference, meaning the situation is improving, however, there’s still a huge backlog. While there may be a long and exhausting process ahead of you even without litigation, it continues to be up to you to gather all the documentation, hire a lawyer and wait.

Employment Issues Reduce Opposing Side’s Settlement Offers in Personal Injury Cases

Due to the situation with COVID-19, there is a global recession. For this reason, millions of people have lost their jobs, and much more live in fear that their job might be next. Finding a new job in this environment can be, at the very least, challenging. This plays into the FUD element of negotiations. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, and will serve the opposing side and may embolden them to offer you less money than would ever be considered appropriate in different economic times. Rely on your attorney to combat that tactic, insisting that you have lost significant money due to the inability to work as a result of the injury, unrelated to COVID-19.

Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann Personal Injury Attorneys