These are uncharted waters. The new normal has become staying sheltered at home, keeping six feet away from others in public, wearing face masks as much as possible when doing essential activities like going to the grocery store, and washing our hands frequently. We are truly combating an invisible enemy, and it understandably has made us all fearful.
Because there are so many unknowns in this coronavirus health crisis, our personal injury lawyers in Jacksonville have been getting many, many calls from clients, and potential clients, asking questions about the personal injury ramifications of this pandemic.
The questions run the gamut:
1. I was recently traveling on a cruise liner, and now I have symptoms; do I have a personal injury claim against the cruise ship company because I became ill on the ship?
2. I was in a car accident; should I wait before pursuing a lawsuit because the courts are closed?
3. I believe I may have gotten sick from my workplace; do I have a personal injury cause of action against my employer?
4. I am in the middle of a personal injury lawsuit; will insurance companies now fight harder because they are losing profits in this crisis?
Given the number of inquiries, we have received related to personal injury claims associated with the coronavirus we are devoting this blog to answering the most frequently asked questions that we have received.
If, after reading this article, you have more questions about a personal injury matter, then contact the experienced personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville, Florida at RITE Law. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
I have a pending personal injury matter, how can I find out the status of my case?
The coronavirus crisis has caused courthouses throughout the country to severely limit activity, or close altogether. If you have a personal injury lawsuit that began long before this health crisis hit, then you are probably wondering what is happening with your case.
Of course, the first order of business is to contact your attorney to get the basics as to what to expect with your case in the short term. Be sure to give a day or two for your attorney to get back to you because many clients are in similar circumstances.
In general, courts are taking a number of actions to address the stay-at-home and quarantine orders in most states in the country. Those actions include:
1. Postponing all new civil trials for a period of time.
2. Postponing all non-emergency hearings for a particular period of time.
3. Extending filing deadlines.
4. Extending discovery deadlines.
5. Allowing for video or telephone court hearings, conferences, and arguments, when possible.
6. Permitting remote depositions by video.
7. Extending all applicable statute of limitations for a period of time.
In sum, the sense of things with court proceedings is that most personal injury cases will be put on “hold” for at least a month, while the nation deals with the health crisis. That also means, with the extension of deadlines, etc., that you will not be prejudiced by the temporary “hold.”If your case does involve an emergency, time-sensitive application, then the court will ensure that the proceeding is handled on an emergent basis by video or teleconference.
I believe that I contracted Coronavirus, but I am reluctant to go to the doctor. What do I do?
If you believe that you have a coronavirus-related claim, then you need to take steps to prove that claim. The best way to do so is to be examined by a doctor. That is because if you have a valid personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that claim in court. And a doctor’s report about your condition is the best kind of proof.
Simply stated, if you are looking to maximize the value of your personal injury case, then you need to receive treatment, and follow all of your doctor’s orders. If there are just too many patients for you to get an appointment, then the delay in treatment should most likely not be held against you. But, the key is to get treatment from a physician when you can.
Is there a bigger uninsured motorist concern?
As the financial picture of many Americans starts to deteriorate, it is very possible that people, in prioritizing their expenses, may choose not to pay for car insurance. Then, if that person negligently hits your car, there is no insurance company standing behind the driver at fault.
While there are no reports of widespread people choosing to drive while uninsured, it is a possibility. To give yourself some peace of mind in that regard, simply check your own auto insurance coverage. Make sure that you have at least $100,000, and preferably $300,000, in uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto insurance policy.
Can my attorney handle a case remotely?
Yes. It is highly likely that your attorney will be available for phone and video conferences, as well as through email contact, during normal business hours and beyond.
In that regard, the personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville at RITE Law have the technology to work remotely for you, so that you do not need to put yourself at risk by having to travel to a law office. We are available 24/7 to schedule an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville.
RITE Law: For Your Personal Injury Case
At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.” At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.
Without help from the RITE team, making your own personal injury claims can be very difficult. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your claim is addressed. Call us for help. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.