Will COVID-19 Affect My Car Accident Claim?
Posted in Car Accidents on July 10, 2020
Although the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to disrupt life around the world, our risk for car accidents still remains. After a collision, you need compensation to recover from your injuries, pay for your vehicle repairs, and reimburse your lost wages — and with the current state of the world, you may wonder how the virus will impact your ability to obtain this compensation. Like most processes, COVID-19 may affect your car accident claim and its timeline in a number of ways.
Seeking Medical Treatment During COVID-19
After suffering injuries in a car accident, it is imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your medical records will become crucial pieces of evidence in your future claim, and seeking prompt care helps maintain your credibility in the eyes of the court and insurance adjusters. Plus, painful, severe injuries need treatment to avoid complications.
However, doctors and hospitals are currently overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be more difficult to seek treatment after your accident; you may be able to receive emergency care, but follow-up appointments may be few and far between. These circumstances may increase the amount of time it takes for you to reach maximum medical improvement, which can delay your claim.
COVID-19 and Car Insurance Claims
Like most companies, the insurance industry is seeing a major loss of profit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the insurance company is responsible for paying for the damages you sustain after an accident, this loss of profit can lead to lower settlement offers than what you deserve. The company may be less willing to negotiate for higher offers.
In addition to the impact on insurance companies, the economic turmoil of COVID-19 may lead to more uninsured and underinsured drivers on the road. To save money, some drivers may forgo insurance in favor of additional savings — and if you are in an accident with one of these vehicles, you cannot file a claim against the driver since he or she will not have an insurance policy.
To protect yourself against these scenarios, hire a Kansas City personal injury lawyer to represent you in negotiations with the insurance company. You should also invest in underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, in case you are in a collision with an uninsured driver.
COVID-19 and Car Accident Lawsuits
The pandemic is impacting the lawsuit timeline as well. Many courthouses remain closed or on reduced schedules in response to COVID-19, and do not allow more than a certain number of people to be in attendance at a time. You may see a delay of your future court date, which will extend your case’s timeline.
There are solutions to this dilemma, however. Some courts may conduct cases over the phone or through video conferencing, or you may be able to attend court at some point during the pandemic.
Most car accident claims settle out of the courtroom, so you may not have to attend trial at all. Your attorney will advise you on the best course of action for your case, however, and it may be necessary to wait for your court appearance in order to secure sufficient compensation.If you are seeking car accident compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need an attorney on your side. Not only does the pandemic complicate the process, but navigating an insurance claim or lawsuit can be difficult after sustaining an injury in a collision. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible to begin the filing process and learn more about your estimated timeline.