Although COVID-19 has had an impact on nearly every aspect of modern life for the past two years, businesses found ways to continue on.
During those two years, people continued to be involved in accidents that led to personal injuries. And, despite the pandemic, those who were injured by another person’s negligence still needed legal representation to pursue compensation. Though some law offices shuttered or reduced their business capabilities, Dunnion Law adapted its business protocols to continue helping clients move their personal injury cases – and their lives – forward.
If you were involved in an accident during COVID-19, the process in our “new normal” looks quite a bit different today. The good news is many businesses have resumed operations so delays are far fewer than they were a year or two ago.
How COVID-19 Changed the Process for Personal Injury Claims
When it comes to your personal injury claim, the pandemic has impacted usual steps in the process, including the following:
- Seeking prompt medical treatment.
The healthcare sector was one of the areas that were most significantly impacted by the pandemic. Hospitals and providers were swamped, and many appointments for non-urgent medical issues were delayed or canceled. However, Teladoc and similar services have increased in availability, meaning getting an appointment to talk with your doctor from the convenience of your own home is easier.
If your accident injuries and medical care require an in-office visit, arranging your appointment as early as possible is important as schedulers are still working to catch up on patient care missed during COVID. Seeing a doctor immediately after your accident also helps your case as insurance companies may deny your claim by arguing that your injuries may not have been accident-related.
- Starting your claim immediately.
While you may feel like the pandemic has caused delays everywhere, getting your case started immediately helps get it into the queue for more timely attention and scheduling. During COVID, Dunnion Law improved our documentation and forms processes so you can get your case started immediately. From start to finish, our attorneys will stay in contact with you throughout the process; and walk you through your insurance claim.
- Accessing Your Legal Team.
In the pre-COVID days, most business was done in the office. Today, things have changed. While many law firms are operating at or near full capacity, things are being handled a little differently.
At Dunnion Law, not only did we implement updated technologies to conduct virtual meetings but we also adapted our service to manage your case documents online, allowing for electronic signatures and limiting your need to do in-person travel. Our expanded services also allow for access to ongoing updates on your case, as well as improved delivery of documents to your door when standard service is your preference.
While you no longer need to come in to handle the paperwork, you can still meet with your attorney via Zoom or telephone, which helps limit COVID exposure for everyone. We have also opened our office on an appointment-only basis, and have masks available for all parties to wear during in-person visits. In keeping COVID safety concerns in mind, whenever possible, we hold these in-person meetings at our office’s outdoor space.
COVID Impacts to the Legal System
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that some things in life are simply out of our control, including being in an accident. That said, there are some systemic conditions that may impact the progress of your claim, including:
- Longer processing time.
Court and processing delays on your case as a result of the pandemic may tempt you to settle, especially if you’re feeling financial pressure. While accepting an early settlement offer may provide some short-term relief, it may cost you in the long run. If you do need help with finances until your case is settled, talk to your attorney about your options.
Recognizing that some delays are inherent in the system, Dunnion Law learned to pivot and adjust its processes to keep your claim moving forward despite the delays outside of its control. Our experienced attorneys know the difference between an unfortunate system delay, and all-too-common insurance delay tactics. This may be in the form of stalling negotiations and proceedings, attempting to reduce their liability, or offering to settle with you quickly for a far lower amount.
Because insurance companies are also dealing with COVID impacts, such as fraudulent claims and reduced revenue streams, they may try to expedite the closure of your claim though typically not in your favor.
- Frequent court re-scheduling.
The shutdown of public offices, including the courts, led to significant delays during the pandemic. While things are up and running now, many courts are still recovering from the backlog. On the bright side, many courts and support systems have adapted to allow for virtual hearings to alleviate the backlog.
Depending on the situation in your area, the court schedules may take longer to recover from the backlog, and re-scheduling to later dates may happen more frequently than in pre-pandemic times. Our expert legal counsel will be able to walk you through what to expect in this situation.
How Dunnion Law Can Help
While people stayed close to home during the height of the pandemic, car crashes and other accidents that caused injuries, stress, and financial hardship still occurred. Dunnion Law has adapted its services to ensure you’re able to continue get the legal representation you need during this unprecedented time.
From meeting with you online to moving your case forward through COVID delays, you should know that when you choose Dunnion Law as your personal injury attorney, we’ll do everything in our power to get you the settlement you deserve.