Unless you’ve been living in a highly secluded area, you’re no doubt aware of the impact that Covid-19 has had on people’s lives and on businesses too. We get asked regularly whether it’s had an impact in the personal injury space and so it’s worth addressing. Therefore, this article looks at what has changed this year.
Cases Take Longer to Get to Court
If a settlement offer is insufficient and no middle ground can be found, then it’s likely that the law firm will recommend taking the matter through the courts.
The trade-off, as a high-quality firm will no doubt tell you, is that cases are requiring more time to reach the courtroom. Some cases were backed up since the first quarter and those are only getting cleared now. Cases brought since that time might still in a queue. So, the wait to get to trial will be longer than previously.
Greater Risk of Bankruptcy
If you have a claim against a business, there’s a higher risk today that the company may not survive in its present form. If it’s an organization that’s more vulnerable to local restrictions – such as a gym, a bar, or a store selling non-essentials – then staying solvent and a going concern is a real worry for many business owners right now.
Many have already filed for bankruptcy protection. Others are close to it. Should a company that you’re pursuing a personal injury claim against fall into the high-risk category, then you could end up just one of many creditors looking to get paid. And that’s if the case even gets that far.
Settling Is Often More Preferable
Settling a case is more often the right move in the present circumstances.
While you might believe that companies would prefer to play the waiting game for a court date, if they see that you have a solid case, they may not prefer to drag things out. Sure, they could decide to play the odds, but most business owners are more pragmatic. They know that the potential of a lawsuit dragging out for years will be a serious distraction for the business. At a time when their focus needs to be elsewhere, it can be a smart move to resolve the matter amicably and move on.
Maximum Medical Improvement Might Not Be Achieved
With serious personal injury cases, the full cost of medical treatment now and into the future isn’t known. Indeed, it requires months to understand the full extent of the damage and how much it will cost to repair your body. Ongoing therapies of various kinds might also be required. The costs add up fast.
The difficulty with claims is that the full cost to recover isn’t known early on. Therefore, wherever possible, it’s best to wait until the dust clears first and let a lawyer pursue a rightful claim for medical costs at that time.
Personal injury cases face some new challenges now that weren’t present before. This is why sensible advice and sharp legal minds are needed to guide a client through what their best options are.