5 Ways COVID-19 Changed Personal Injury Claims
No one can doubt the massive changes brought on by COVID-19. The pandemic has completely overturned many people’s lives and added new pressures to an already struggling economy. As personal injury attorneys, we were not immune to these changes, but along the way we learned new ways to help our clients — and the pandemic has only reaffirmed our duty to serve those injured in serious accidents.
1. The Importance of Consistent Medical Care
After an accident, however minor you may think it was, it is critical that you speak to a doctor. Some injuries may not present themselves until a few hours after a car crash or fall, when the shock of the incident has worn off. By seeing a doctor, you can rule out the possibility that you are suffering more serious injuries and speed up the healing process, whereas delaying may only make your situation worse. Seeing a doctor is also key to receiving compensation, as it shows an insurance company or jury that your injuries are genuine.
COVID-19 understandably made many accident victims afraid of going to an emergency room or doctor’s office. However, hospitals have quickly adapted since the start of the pandemic and changed procedures to protect patients from the virus. If you have any concerns, you should contact your doctor’s office or local hospital to learn how they are dealing with new patients.
The same goes for seeing a physical therapist or other specialists. Several patients canceled or rescheduled appointments due to their fears of the virus, but many therapists have adjusted their approach, such as limiting facility space and hours to at-risk patients, pre-screening patients, improving cleaning procedures, and providing online appointments.
2. Your Claim May Be Delayed, But You Shouldn’t Wait
The pandemic shook up most industries, forcing doctors, insurance companies, and attorneys to adjust their office hours or move their meetings online. In addition, courts largely shut down in California at the start of lockdown, but since then, they have found ways to handling hearings and trials with limited attendance or online. For many, their personal injury trials were delayed, and victims were offered extensions for filing claims.
The most important takeaway was that while a claim may be delayed under extreme circumstances, victims should not hesitate to start the filing process. In California, accident victims have at least two years from the date of an injury to file a claim against an insurance company or submit a lawsuit in court. While this seems like a lot of time, the investigation and negotiation process can take months, which is why you should speak to an attorney as early as possible. We can begin working on your case immediately and handle the paperwork while you focus on healing.
3. Cases Can Be Held Virtually
Whether you are afraid of meeting in person or have difficulties coming to our office in Glendale, our team at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, can handle your case over the phone, via Zoom, or through other online platforms. The pandemic forced many aspects of the legal system to adjust to the digital age. Now, your entire claim can be handled online, ensuring that you remain safe from the virus while being able to exercise your legal rights. Consultations, insurance negotiations, and court hearings were all held online throughout 2020, and many of these services may continue after the pandemic.
4. Lawyers Are Always Available
At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, our attorneys never stopped working, even when the pandemic forced many other industries to shut down or take extended breaks. Instead, we adjusted to the challenges of the pandemic, moved our services online or over the phone, and continued to provide the best legal representation to our clients. We also continued to offer free case evaluations and worked on a contingency-fee basis, meaning our clients do not have to pay us a dime unless we win their case. If you need to speak to an attorney about your accident, there is no cost to reaching out to us online.
5. Insurance Companies Want You To Settle Early
One of the saddest aspects of the pandemic was the financial strains it put on most people in Los Angeles. Our county has always struggled with high costs of living, and most workers live paycheck to paycheck. Anyone involved in an accident during the pandemic stressed over the severe economic burden of their medical bills, property damage, and other costs. They may have wanted a quick resolution to their claim.
Insurance companies love to prey on accident victims when they are at their lowest, and the pandemic only exasperated the issue. Many victims likely chose to accept lowball settlement offers to make ends meet, despite the true value of their claims being much higher.
However, pandemic or no pandemic, attorneys can still help maximize the value of your claim and ensure you receive proper compensation for your trauma. Instead of dealing with an insurance company on your own, let an expert legal team take on the burden of your case and advocate for your rights.
Aghabegian & Associates, PC, Is Ready to Handle Your Case
Throughout the pandemic, our Glendale personal injury attorneys at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, have advocated for the best interests of our clients. We have drawn on our more than 40 years of combined experience to adapt and grow during the lockdown, ensuring that our clients receive proper care and representation throughout their claims. Going forward, we will continue to provide the best representation possible and fight for our clients. If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, contact us at (818) 507-4311. We are on your side.
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