The coronavirus outbreak that has ravished our country and the world will impact every area of our society in one way or another. Although some people may be immune to the virus, no one is immune to the effects of it. And this includes those who have been injured in a car accident or suffered some other type of personal injury.
The South Carolina courts have temporarily suspended all jury trials until the COVID-19 situation subsides, and emergency hearings and other proceedings are being done at the discretion of each local court. Many of these can be done by telephone or videoconferencing, and with anything that happens in a live courtroom, only the participants, their attorneys, and the judge are allowed to be present.
At the Nowell Law Firm, we want you to know that, although the court processes have been delayed, we are still here, and we are well-equipped to successfully represent our clients just as we have been prior to this unprecedented outbreak. We are taking all of the precautions and following all of the social distancing guidelines, and we are performing many of our tasks remotely these days. But rest assured, we have the technology and resources to continue pursuing justice on behalf of each client we serve.
How the Coronavirus Outbreak may Affect Personal Injury Cases
With most of the country under a “stay-at-home” order, there are far fewer cars on the road, which we presume will result in a drop in car crashes while all of this is ongoing. At the same time, however, there are more people out walking and riding their bikes since the gyms are closed and these are among the physical activities that are still allowed. This could heighten the risk of bicycle and pedestrian accidents, which can often result in more serious injuries.
There are still as many (or perhaps more) large commercial trucks on the roadways carrying groceries and other essential supplies to the stores. In addition, many of these drivers are overworked and under a lot of stress, which could heighten the risk of trucking accidents.
COVID-19 might also present some challenges to personal injury victims that they might not otherwise have to deal with, particularly with regards to obtaining medical treatment and securing fair compensation for their injuries.
When someone is injured in an accident, they should get immediate medical attention for their injuries. In a traumatic event like a car accident, an ambulance is usually called to the scene to tend to those who are hurt. And if the injuries are serious, they may need to be taken to the hospital. The initial medical help you receive should not be disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, at least not in South Carolina, but there could be issues with follow-up visits, tests, and treatments.
For one thing, accident victims may be apprehensive about going into doctor appointments with the risk of coming in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. It is important to understand, however, that hospitals and medical clinics are doing everything possible to keep their facilities sanitized and keep patients properly distanced from each other. There may still be a slight risk of contracting the virus, as there is if you go anywhere in public, but the risk to your health is much greater if you do not follow the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.
Another issue could be the need to redirect medical resources to treat coronavirus patients, which may cause your treatment plan to be delayed. You are supposed to do everything possible to mitigate the effects of your injury, but we are living in extraordinary times, and these would definitely be considered extenuating circumstances. If something is delayed, there is not much you can do about it. However, do your best to keep the appointments you have and follow doctor’s orders as much as possible.
Settling Personal Injury Claims
With COVID-19 going on and the wheels of justice turning slower, accident injury victims may feel more pressure to settle their claims. Many will no doubt be financially impacted by the shutdown, and insurance companies may also try to take advantage of the situation by making a lowball settlement offer for far less than what the claim is really worth. In times like these, it is more important than ever to have a skilled attorney in your corner who has the proven ability to secure maximum compensation on behalf of their clients.
The Nowell Law Firm is Here for You
If you or someone close to you suffered injury because of the actions of another party, do not put your claim on hold because of the coronavirus situation. Waiting will only make it more difficult to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. At the Nowell Law Firm, we are here for you, and we are ready to serve your legal needs. For a consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our Spartanburg, SC office today at (864) 469-2481.