The coronavirus has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. Personal injury cases are no exception. If you are just starting to navigate the details of your case, you should be aware of the red tape you might encounter due to COVID-19. 

Which facets of your personal injury case could COVID-19 affect? Read on to find out. We also give tips to help you maneuver the process more smoothly. 

obstacles to medical treatment

Obstacles With Medical Treatment

COVID-19 has pummeled the medical industry from several directions. Not only do hospitals, doctors, and administrative personnel need to function carefully to prevent catching and spreading the coronavirus while treating patients with it, their facilities are also handling a larger number of patients. To reduce the strain and risk for both patients and medical personnel, many hospitals and providers have postponed non-emergency medical care.  

But if you have a personal injury claim, it’s still important that you access medical care with expediency. The value of your personal injury case is dependent on the extent of your medical treatment, as well as attaining maximum medical improvement (MMI). Unfortunately, you may find that non-urgent medical care (such as follow-up exams and physical therapy appointments) is currently difficult to obtain. 
Obstacles with medical care can hinder your ability to reach your MMI and recover from your injuries. These obstructions could also cause problems with securing full compensation for your case. You should discuss any hurdles you are experiencing with your medical care with your legal counsel as soon as possible so they can help you bridge any gaps in the medical treatment for your personal injury case. 

Affect on Negotiating Settlements

Delays in medical care can impact negotiations for your settlement. Additionally, most businesses and individuals are experiencing more financial pressure than before the pandemic, which may reduce the amount of money they can offer. Furthermore, the financial burden of your personal injury at this time may tempt you to settle quickly. 

It’s always best to consult with a lawyer, however, because there are situations that could compromise your settlement. For example, if the defendant in your personal injury case files bankruptcy, you may not ever see a settlement. With the COVID-19 pandemic looming around us, bankruptcy is a real possibility, so be sure to discuss settlement offers with your attorney and listen to their advice on how to proceed.

Delays in the Court System

If your personal injury case is going to court, you can expect delays. The pandemic has altered the way that the court systems are working. It may take longer than usual to get a date for a hearing, and don’t be surprised if your hearing is handled via video conference.  
In Missouri and Kansas, each courthouse has their own procedures, so it’s good to know how your local courthouse is handling cases. Small details of a case, like filing a motion, might have a different procedure right now, which can add delays to your case. Some courts have in-person hearings for priority cases only, while others are conducting their hearings remotely. Your attorney should be able to tell you what to expect from your court, but be prepared for delays. 

Give Us a Call

Pursuing damages for your injuries is a critical aspect of your recovery. Since insurance companies will be inclined to minimize their payouts more urgently than ever, it is crucial to have a skilled personal injury attorney representing you. We will work with you to determine the worth of your case and help you negotiate a fair settlement. If you are concerned about COVID-19, we can handle most of our business, including consultations and discussions, remotely. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.