The most significant way Coronavirus can impact your personal injury case and its value is through gaps in treatment. Those injured in an auto accident must receive medical treatment to maximize the value of their personal injury case. Consistent medical treatment proves to insurance companies that the patient needs the treatment recommended by the doctor. Any gaps in treatment give insurance companies an opportunity to combat claims and justify reductions in insurance settlements.
In order to maximize your case value, you must receive all recommended treatment. One concern with the coronavirus is that people are afraid to keep their medical appointments. Unfortunately, insurance companies will not view the coronavirus as a viable reason to stop treatment.
What if Your Doctor’s Office Cannot Provide an Appointment?
That being said, if hospitals and doctor’s offices become overrun with patients, causing a delay in your treatment, your case value may not be reduced. Your case will be delayed accordingly, as lawyers cannot settle your case or file a lawsuit until treatment is complete.
Keep your lawyer informed about your situation, especially if you can’t get an appointment. Remaining diligent in seeking treatment will help your lawyer prove that your extent of injury required such treatment. Lawyers do this by providing medical records which include appointments and treatment to insurance companies and the court when applicable.
If you are afraid to receive treatment due to the coronavirus, which is understandable, the best thing to do is take precautions when visiting, such as sitting at least 6 feet away from others, washing your hands frequently, etc. Also, by keeping in contact with your lawyer, the two of you can discuss how to address your specific situation.
Other Changes from COVID-19 to Consider
Due to changes in the economy, and people’s employment status, more people might delay their payments, change their coverage or even stop paying their insurance premiums. Insurance companies get their money from monthly premiums if there is a financial recession, there may not be significant funds for insurance companies to pay out insurance claims.
Additionally, if people drive their cars without coverage and they cause an accident, there might not be any money to recover for your losses from the at-fault driver. This makes it even more imperative to carry at least 100K of uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. This policy covers any expenses in relation to your accident if the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance.
If your Personal Injury Case Turns into a Lawsuit
Currently, with quarantines and restrictions from the coronavirus, courthouse schedules and procedures may have changed. This may result in delays for cases going to trial. Many courthouses around the country have already closed or modified their procedures to work remotely. Due to changes in the insurance policy and courthouse regulations, insurance companies may fight harder to pay less regardless of court involvement.