How Does COVID-19 Affect My Personal Injury Case?

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected this country and the state of Tennessee. In an effort to prevent the spread of this virus, stay at home orders have been enacted throughout the country. This, along with proper social distancing requirements, can have significant impacts on personal injury cases in Tennessee. Here, we want to discuss how ongoing and potential personal injury claims could be affected by COVID-19.

How are the Tennessee courts handling COVID-19?

In March, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended all in-person court proceedings, and this order has been extended through the end of May. Right now, we do not yet know if these orders will be extended again. However, even if courts do reopen, there may be significant changes to their operation due to social distancing measures and other recommendations made by the CDC and state health agencies.

How has this affected personal injury cases?

Because there are no in-person proceedings taking place right now in Tennessee courts, all personal injury trials have been postponed indefinitely. Unfortunately, this may significantly impact and injury victim’s ability to obtain swift compensation for their claim. As soon as the courts reopen, your personal injury attorney will work diligently to get your case rescheduled and back on track.

What about out-of-court personal injury cases?

The vast majority of personal injury claims in Tennessee are handled out-of-court, whether through negotiations with insurance carriers or through litigation that settles before going to trial. While out-of-court cases are generally resolved quicker than personal injury claims they go to trial, these cases may still experience delays due to COVID-19.

In a personal injury case that is settled out-of-court, much of the work that goes on will still face obstacles and delays due to the ongoing health crisis. Investigations that need to be conducted could be delayed due to social distancing measures. Attorneys may not be able to take depositions at this time.

How will a personal injury victim receive medical care?

If you have just sustained an injury caused by another person’s negligence, you need to seek medical assistance. The risks to your health by not seeking medical attention outweigh the risks of contracting COVID-19. Do not delay seeking emergency medical treatment in these situations.

If you have an ongoing personal injury claim and you have not yet made a full recovery, you need to continue your medical treatment as best you can. While we recognize that many people do not want to go to the doctor or a hospital right now, not doing so could jeopardize your claim. Speak to the doctor treating your injuries and workout a modified treatment plan if necessary. Please do not fail to continue medical treatment if you have an ongoing personal injury case, as this could give the insurance carrier or the defendant in your case a reason to lower your settlement amount or claim you were not really injured at all.

Will you need a personal injury attorney?

If you sustained an injury that was caused by another person, you should speak to an injury lawyer about your case as soon as possible. Most personal injury attorneys in Tennessee are offering free remote consultations for your case, meaning you do not have to meet with your Nashville personal injury lawyer in person during this pandemic. If you have an ongoing personal injury claim, stay in regular contact with your attorney to ensure that your case is progressing forward.