In response to the preventative measures from the government and the Center for Disease Control in combating the coronavirus pandemic, organizations and institutions have taken alternative practices including remote working for business continuity.
At Patterson Law Group, we have taken all precautionary measures due to the coronavirus including equipping our employees with the necessary resources to work from home. While our physical offices at the headquarters in Fort Worth and branches in Arlington and San Antonio remain closed, we are available remotely via email and on phone.
We will remain virtually open to provide you with the necessary support for personal injury cases. Our team stays up to date with all developments through weekly meetings enabled by Zoom. Moreover, you can visit our Facebook page for updates on recent developments. As COVID19 rips through the US, many people will suffer injuries from car accidents, slips, and other unfortunate events.
If you are wondering what will happen to your personal injury claim, we will be able to provide insight on what to expect as the nation battles this pandemic.
What Does COVID-19 Mean for My Personal Injury Case?
Whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the resolution and settlement of your personal injury case is dependent on where you live.
For Texas residents whom we have filed a lawsuit for personal injury, all deadlines have been suspended temporarily. However, this does not mean that the work on your case has stopped. As your personal injury lawyers, we are still writing briefs and motions, conducting ongoing legal research, negotiating, taking and defending depositions, attending mediations, all while preparing for your case trial.
On the other hand, if we have not filed your case, the claim where the statute of limitations was running out has been pushed back. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not put your case on hold. We will continue writing and sending demands, acquiring pertinent records, and negotiating with the insurance adjusters.
Will Post-Accident Medical Treatment Be More Limited Under the Current Pandemic?
Hopefully not. To maximize your compensation award in a personal injury case, you will be required to receive medical treatment as recommended by your healthcare provider. As per the provisions of the law, medical records remain critical to proving the extent of your injuries and recoverable costs.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people will feel reluctant to visit hospitals for fear of contracting the virus. While these concerns are reasonable, it still holds that getting medical treatment is crucial to the value of your claim.
Since hospitals around the state are saturated with COVID-19 patients, an accident victim will have to wait longer than usual to get medical treatment. This means that filing a case for personal injury will also take longer as the scope of damages will be determined upon completion of the treatment and reaching the maximum medical improvement.
Are Texas Courts Open to Hear My Case?
When Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in the state, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeal entered an emergency order and suspended various provisions related to court proceedings. The emergency order allows for all proceedings including hearings, depositions, and other types of court appearances to be conducted electronically through teleconferences and video conferences.
Courthouses will remain closed to protect judicial employees from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. However, it is still possible for your personal injury lawyer to pursue our claim.
At Patterson Law Group, we have equipped ourselves ready for remote access and multimedia presentations as a way of maintaining interactions with the courts and clients. This will help us to streamline arbitrations, mediations, trials, and insurance claims as needed.
Can I File an Accident Claim During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Yes. Despite the government’s directive, urging more people to stay at home, this does not translate to an accident-free era. Speeding has dangerously increased during the pandemic.
Distracted driving continues to pose a challenge on the roads with accidents being reported even during the corona pandemic. Should you find yourself a victim in a personal injury case, you are required as per the law to file for a personal injury claim. The good news is that the statute of limitations may be extended in all courts across Texas.
Potential Extensions on the Statute of Limitation
For unfilled and future personal injury cases, the first order issued by the Supreme Court will allow all courts in Texas to extend the statute of limitations in any case for a stated period ending 30 days after the state of disaster declaration has been lifted.
Normally, the State of Texas, under the provisions of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code 16.003, gives the injured party up to two years after the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Under the extension of the statute limitation, the plaintiff ‘s time to file a lawsuit will be extended by 30 days from the time the governor’s state of disaster declaration expires.
A key point to note under the first order is the use of “may” while referring to the courts. Lawyers and litigators should carefully monitor the applicable courts to determine whether the statute has been extended in that court.
Patterson Law Group Is Here For You
Along those lines, at Patterson Law Group we are committed to serving you 24/7/365. We are available to take calls from injured clients and complete the entire intake process electronically (via phone, Skype, and email). You do not have to worry about being in a public place and risking exposure to the coronavirus. For more serious personal injury cases, we are available for appointments.