Being in quarantine has changed so many aspects of life. Everyone has to adjust to the new normal. Businesses, schools, and academic institutions, government agencies, and organizations are doing their best to adapt to the new environment. The legal profession is one of the most affected as lawyers, their teams, and clients had to change some processes.
One of the significant adjustments has to do with the filing of claims. Person-to-person meetings are dangerous nowadays, so law firms now focus on alternative options. With all the changes, clients have many questions. What if they need to file a claim? What if they get injured or get into an accident? Can they still file a personal injury claim even during quarantine? How can their personal injury attorneys help?
There are many factors to consider when filing a personal injury claim. Apart from judicial and law offices, claimants also need to process requirements. If there are injuries, medical attention is essential. However, the quarantine period makes it impossible for you and other claimants to go to clinics and hospitals because of the health risks involved. So, what are you supposed to do? Here are some tips and answers to important questions.
1. Yes, it is possible to file a personal injury claim during the quarantine period.
Although most judicial offices and law firms are still closed, many lawyers continue negotiating claims and working on cases. Whether it’s an ongoing personal injury claim or a new one, your lawsuit will move forward.
It may take time to adjust to the new normal process, but there are convenient and simple options.
2. There are several options for in-hospital or clinic visits for medical treatment.
Each state has laws for the mitigation of damages and the length of time given to claimants to complete the process. With the pandemic and majority of the population in quarantine, getting medical treatment and a doctor’s report is close to impossible. However, some court and law offices are considerate of the situation and adjust processes and schedules.
Also, there are options for in-hospital and clinic visits.
- Many hospitals and clinics now conduct consultations and appointments with their patients online using video conferencing tools. Doctors, therapists, and other medical professionals communicate with their clients via video chat. They even do exercises online, meticulously guiding patients remotely every step of the way.
- If online consultation and treatment are not possible, you need to document what you did from when the accident happened until the time you tried to get medical treatment during the quarantine period. The documentation should include photos of the damages and injuries. It is also vital to list the names of everyone who witnessed the incident. These recorded events serve as evidence that you did the necessary procedures in mitigating damages.
3. Face-to-face legal proceedings are now remote.
In several states, courthouses and law offices continue their operations in virtual spaces. Instead of face-to-face appointments, legal proceedings and client-lawyer meetings are now done remotely using different video chat tools. Most hearings, depositions, and other court proceedings happen via online conferences. Thus, you can still meet with your personal injury lawyer, albeit in a different environment.
Also, the submission of documents is easy and done through electronic mail. The email is a suitable venue for communication if telephone or video conferencing is difficult.
If you cannot meet with your lawyer online, you can always set an appointment for a future schedule. If you do this right away, during the quarantine period, you can get an appointment the moment the law offices return to full operations.
4. Statutes of limitations are suspended in some states.
Statute of limitations refers to the maximum period an individual has to complete a lawsuit. Failing to file the lawsuit within the given time will lead to the dismissal of the case. In most personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is from two to four years. For claims filed against the government, the lawsuit must be submitted in 90 days or less from the time the accident happened.
With the pandemic and the quarantine measures, following the statute of limitations is difficult. Seeking for medical treatment is risky, and coordinating with personal injury lawyers can be challenging for some. As a result, several states suspended the statutes of limitations and pushed back schedules for court proceedings and lawsuits. Details vary from one state to another, with some extending the limitations instead of suspending it.
5. The ideal law firm is one that’s capable of operating remotely.
You need a legal representative that can handle cases even when limited by quarantine regulations. However, not all law firms have the capability to operate remotely. It would be best if you chose a law firm that can confidently continue operations in virtual spaces. Constant communication with your lawyer is the best way of ensuring your case won’t be delayed.
Follow these tips and get in touch with a personal injury lawyer right away if you or your family or loved ones get into an accident during the quarantine period.