Over the course of the past few months, the world has had to make some dramatic changes due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Everything from local grocery stores to international airlines have had to change their policies and the way they are operating. The local governments are no different. Courts have been shut down for the past few months as well. Since personal injury cases happen every day, this is leading to a large backlog for personal injury firms to take care of. Personal injury cases can usually take months for things to be settled due to the amount of steps involved in each case. Steps usually taken are interviewing each participant involved in the situation, as well as collecting medical records and bills and being in contact with insurance companies.
Changing the Statute of Limitations
Everything is not all bad news, though. Due to the overwhelming backlog of cases, states are extending their statutes of limitation on cases. A statute of limitations is the laws set by each state that sets a certain amount of time to pass between the date of the accident and the date the lawsuit has actually been filed. Normally in the state of Texas, for example, the statute of limitations is set for 2 years after the date of the accident. However, with cases not being able to get into the courtroom, the state has extended it to be 30 days after the governor lifts the state of disaster.
How Personal Injury Law Firms Are Still Working
Even though most personal injury cases are settled before actually going to court, firms are adapting to new ways to keep their business up and running. Many firms are now doing video chats or phone calls right from the beginning of the discovery stage. This way the process can begin even if potential clients can not get to the brick and mortar firm itself. Other changes the courts are implementing include the option for video depositions as well courts requiring litigants to appear remotely so the trials can continue smoothly.
What Will Happen When Courts Reopen
Whenever courts do fully open, there is going to be a large number of cases that will need to be settled. Courts are slowly starting to partially reopen. However, that does not mean they will be fully functional. In New York, only about 20% of the courtroom staff are expected to return back to work, leaving still hundreds of employees out of work and hopefully collecting their unemployment. Even courts are keeping up with the health crisis. Anyone entering the courthouse must be temperature checked and must be wearing a mask regardless if they are on the stand or not.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or anyone you know has been injured recently, it is a good idea to reach out to a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Royce Injury Attorneys. He or she might be able to get you a large settlement, even if the firm itself is not currently open as far as a brick and mortar establishment goes. However, the firm can start working on your case and hopefully get it settled and if it does need to go to court, can get the trial inline and set a date for things to move forward.