How Does COVID-19 Affect My Personal Injury Case?
Posted in Personal Injury on May 12, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of people in Kansas City and around the world, from the transition to remote school and work to the inability to access in-person services that could increase the transmission of the virus.
Unfortunately, this impact may extend to your personal injury case as well. Depending on the circumstances of your claim and the pathway to compensation you are on, COVID-19 may impact your personal injury claim in a number of ways.
COVID-19 and Personal Injury Insurance Claims in Missouri
In personal injury cases, there are two main pathways to compensation: filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court or filing an insurance claim, either with your policy or the one belonging to the at-fault party.
Many law firms are offering remote services to assist you with your insurance claim during this time, and you should be able to file your claim online. However, it is important to recognize that the economic recession that is occurring due to COVID-19 is likely to impact the insurance industry, and the settlement offers you receive during this time may be lower than what you need to recover. Always speak with your attorney before speaking with an insurance adjuster.
Kansas City Personal Injury Lawsuits and COVID-19
If you are filing a lawsuit against the person or parties responsible for your injuries, your personal injury case may see additional wait times. This delay depends on what stage in the lawsuit process you are.
Personal injury cases often require an investigation and negotiation process prior to proceeding to trial. If your case is still in the early stages and you do not anticipate going to court anytime soon, COVID-19 will have less of an impact on your case.
However, it may take a longer time to complete an investigation into your claim. Evidence such as medical records, surveillance footage, and police reports may take longer to obtain while employees at certain agencies and businesses are working from home. State restrictions on gatherings and non-essential businesses may also slow down the investigation and negotiation process.
If you have already filed your lawsuit in Missouri or Kansas civil court, COVID-19 will have a more significant impact on your claim. The Missouri and Kansas Supreme Courts have both suspended in-person court appearances for certain periods of time. This includes personal injury trials, hearings, and other in-person meetings necessary to conclude your case.
These delays may impact the progress of your case, and you may need to wait until the pandemic is over to reach trial. While these suspensions will likely continue until the COVID-19 pandemic ends, you can view updates from the Missouri Supreme Court and the Kansas Supreme Court on their respective websites.
Your Legal Options During COVID-19
While the current pandemic may slow the progress of your Kansas City personal injury case, it does not mean you should abandon your path to compensation altogether. If you require an amount of compensation higher than your insurance policy limits, it is not advisable to compromise your recovery for a quicker payout.
Speak to a Kansas City personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Since many law firms are working remotely during this time, your personal injury lawyer will be able to answer your questions over the phone or through a video conferencing service. He or she will help craft a plan that works for your case and ensures the best possible chances to obtain the adequate amount of compensation you need to recover.