The spread of the novel coronavirus throughout the U.S. has affected every facet of people’s lives. For example, many states require people to engage in social distancing, which has required the closure of many non-essential businesses and facilities, including courts. Thus, the coronavirus pandemic has unexpectedly changed the course of litigation in personal injury cases.
If you suffered an injury before or during the coronavirus pandemic, you should retain an attorney who will protect your rights. Boca Raton personal injury lawyer Gregg M. Hollander dedicates his practice to helping victims recover the damages that they are owed. He understands how the coronavirus pandemic may affect personal injury cases, and he will fight to help you seek a favorable result, regardless of any disruptions caused by the pandemic. The Hollander Law Firm has offices in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.
Access to Medical Treatment
One of the main components of a personal injury case is establishing a person’s injury and ensuring that the injured person receives any treatment necessary to assist in recovery. Medical treatment is also critical to proving the victim’s damages. Two important factors in calculating an injured person’s damages are the cost of any medical treatment needed for his or her injuries and the permanency of the injured person’s harm, both of which can be accurately ascertained only through comprehensive treatment.
In many instances, an injured person will need to retain an expert to testify regarding the extent of the harm, which typically requires an in-person examination.
Due to the coronavirus, many patients and health care providers have canceled or delayed treatment appointments for fear of spreading or contracting the virus. Thus, it is prudent to wait until you can resume treatment to assess the value of your case and consider whether to settle.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic May Affect Personal Injury Cases in Courts
The Florida Supreme Court has issued several orders in response to the coronavirus, modifying the way in which civil lawsuits, including personal injury lawsuits, should be conducted. For example, the courts have extended case deadlines in many counties and ordered the postponement of any non-critical court proceedings. Thus, the statute of limitations may be tolled for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Injured people should not delay in seeking damages via a lawsuit, however, since delays in cases often lead to a loss of evidence, and parties and witnesses may lose the ability to recall important details surrounding an accident.
In cases that were filed prior to the pandemic, activity may slow down or halt completely. It is important to note, though, that the courts and the legislature continue to monitor the course of the pandemic and will adjust court orders and guidelines accordingly. Therefore, an injured person should not assume that prior orders will remain in effect indefinitely, and they should speak to an attorney regarding the steps to take to safeguard their interests.
Impact on Settlement Negotiations
It is likely that the coronavirus pandemic will affect settlement negotiations in ongoing personal injury cases. Defendants and their insurers may anticipate that injured people will experience financial hardships due to the pandemic, and they may be eager to settle cases for minimal amounts. Victims should not necessarily modify their strategies or expectations due to the pandemic, however, since they have only one chance to recover compensation for their harm, and many offers set forth by defendants or their insurers will be insufficient to cover the damages caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Boca Raton Lawyer
The novel coronavirus has far-reaching effects that will continue to affect litigation for the foreseeable future. If you sustained an injury before or during the coronavirus pandemic, and you wish to pursue a claim for damages, it is prudent to understand how the coronavirus pandemic may affect personal injury cases. Gregg M. Hollander has the resources and experience required to aid you in pursuing the full amount of compensation recoverable for your harm. From his offices in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, he assists people throughout Palm Beach and Broward Counties and elsewhere in South Florida. You can contact the Hollander Law Firm at 561-347-7770 or through the form online to schedule a consultation.