As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps the world, industries across the US and the globe at large have been forced to reassess how they do business and find new ways to thrive.
In the era of COVID-19, personal injury victims may be wondering how the pandemic will affect their case. Today, we're exploring how COVID-19 affects personal injury claims so you know what to expect going forward.
Insurers Are Gunshy
Many insurers are concerned that individuals who contract COVID-19 will sue the location where they think they caught the virus. For insurers, the fear is that a new wave of COVID-19-related personal injury claims will compound on business owners already suing insurance companies for a loss of business due to the pandemic.
As a result, insurers are fighting hard to avoid paying for any claims related to COVID-19. Most insurers already excluded pandemic coverage in their policies, and many are drafting up new risk mitigation addendums to further insulate themselves from having to pay out personal injury claims to COVID victims.
Their fear isn't entirely unjustified, either—several insurance industry experts have indicated that, if insurers were forced to pay businesses and individuals for COVID-19-related claims, it could bankrupt the insurance industry entirely.
If you intend to file a personal injury claim after contracting COVID-19, expect your insurer to fight it tooth and nail.
Getting Treatment May Be More Complicated
Medical expenses often play a big role in personal injury claims. However, many hospitals—especially in urban areas—are struggling to treat patients consistently while they combat an influx of new critical cases from COVID-19.
Additionally, personal injury victims may be fearful of hospitals or therapy offices, worried that attending either location may increase their chances of contracting the coronavirus. For high-risk victims, such as individuals with autoimmune disorders or breathing problems, that risk is particularly pronounced.
Maximizing compensation in personal injury cases usually requires victims to follow their doctor's recommendations to a T. If you have a physician you're working with, consult them and ask how you can treat your injury while minimizing your risk of exposure to the virus.
It May Take Longer for Courts to Process Your Case
Courthouses across the country closed their doors as a response to COVID-19, choosing to only hear essential cases. As a result, even after most cities have lifted stay-at-home orders and many states have begun to reopen, courts are still dealing with a significant case backlog.
If you intend to pursue your personal injury case in court (instead of settling it outside of the courtroom), you should brace for a longer than normal wait time. Ask your lawyer for a realistic timeframe so you can prepare for how long it may take courts to get to your case.
At The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., we have the tools to help personal injury victims get the compensation they deserve for an accident. Contact us online or give us a call at (904) 701-0591 to speak with our team and schedule a consultation for your case.