Updated: Feb 23
In my role as an Alabama personal injury attorney, I have received several questions lately about how the coronavirus could affect personal injury lawsuits.
Therefore, I would like to share some of my thoughts, as the coronavirus COULD have an impact on your case’s resulting value. We are keeping fully informed about how the virus impacts our cases and guiding our clients on how to preserve maximum case value.
Personal Injury Victims MUST Continue Medical Treatment To Maximize Case Value
The most important matter is that to maximize the case value of automobile wrecks and personal injury lawsuits, our clients must obtain medical treatment. Even if this calls for emergency surgery. Sometimes treatment procedures are slow, beginning with physical therapy, and, if that is unsuccessful, possibly leading to injections, and then other times surgery months later. Our clients usually have many doctor and therapist appointments, over a lengthy period of time.
The most important point though: to maximize your wreck’s case value, you MUST get all of the doctor-recommended treatment. There is concern behind wanting to avoid going to medical appointments due to the coronavirus outbreak. Regrettably, worry over the coronavirus, as a cause for not receiving medical treatment behind a wreck, will not excuse the fact that treatment is necessary to maximize case value.
However, if the hospitals happen to be overrun with coronavirus patients, keeping you from literally getting to a doctor’s appointment, then this may only cause delays in treatment (instead of a reduction in case value), which then causes delays in resolving cases.
Most importantly, it is extremely wise to be persistent about receiving treatment. Should there be a reason you cannot get to an appointment, maybe due to the coronavirus, then you should keep your attorney fully informed, and be persistent in trying to receive the first available appointment, possible. Once more, without treatment, it is impossible to PROVE the scope of personal injuries (we, attorneys, are required to prove injuries with medical records, presenting all doctor-recommended treatment, to maximize a case’s value).
Therefore, we at the Bryant Law Firm understand the fear of going to the doctor. We can only advise that you take preventative measures during doctor’s appointments, like having a good distance from others, washing your hands very often, never touching your face, and asking your doctor’s offices if anyone may be sick there. However, completing your medical appointments is EXTREMELY important to case value, and this has not changed, sadly.
As a result, we will discuss any issues with all of our clients, and advise the best game plan for their particular circumstances.
TEXT OR CALL 24 HOUR ACCIDENT LAWYER HOTLINE (205) 267-8561
Many People May Stop Paying Insurance Premiums
Should we have a serious financial recession, many people may not pay their insurance premiums, meaning that fewer motorists on the road will have coverage. Should a driver without coverage cause your wreck, then there may not be any money to recover in this circumstance. However, the Bryant Law Firm can get this information from the at-fault driver’s insurance company within the first month of working for you. (CAUTION: Because of this exact reason, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that every driver carries at least 100K, and if possible, 300K or more, of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, on your own insurance policy. This kind of insurance policy covers you should someone else lack enough insurance coverage. If you have UM, then we can certainly work toward recovery for your injuries under your own insurance policy, even if the at-fault driver still has coverage.)
We hope the lack of insurance coverage will not be a universal problem, but it is likely a great possibility.
Courthouse Procedures Could Change, Or Become Delayed
With actual lawsuits, several courthouses around the country have either closed or modified their procedures to work remotely. As of now, the Jefferson County Courthouses are closed to the public, including Birmingham and Bessemer divisions, but staff are still in the office working. We expect that cases may take longer to resolve due to such modifications.
Nonetheless, you can be sure that we will do everything within our power to pursue cases along as quickly as possible, but within the constraints set by the court.
The Alabama courts are closely monitoring the situation, which includes heightened courthouse cleaning, “social distancing” at the courthouse, and remote communication, whenever possible.
The great news is that if you are a new client today, we will likely be able to either solve your case without a lawsuit (meaning you would never have to visit the courthouse), or, if we must file a lawsuit, you will mostly have to appear at a few events, which are very likely many months from now, potentially over a year from now, based on the potential worth of your case.
The largest problem is being consistent in keeping all necessary medical treatments for your injuries, even at this difficult time with the coronavirus.
CAUTION: By ALL Means - Do Not POSTPONE Your Personal Injury Case Due to The Coronavirus!
In spite of a few possible obstacles, the WORST mistake, if you were recently injured in an accident, is DELAYING your case until after the coronavirus crisis passes to call us (obviously, not if you are too sick to call — then, of course, you should take care of yourself until you are able to call us!) WAITING to hire a personal injury is likely the greatest way to lessen case value. Just a few days of waiting to start treatment can greatly lessen case value.
We Can Pursue Your Case Remotely, Thereby Lessening Your Contact With The Coronavirus
We are constantly ready to take calls from injured clients 24/7/365. We can also discuss your case with you by phone, and handle the complete intake process electronically (via email & phone). Then you will not have to worry about visiting another public place, and chancing coronavirus exposure!
Should you really desire an in-person consultation, we still have available appointments, and can even come to you, in serious injury or wreck cases. Call or text anytime (205)267-8561.