How Will the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Affect My Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury can be life-changing. It can result in limitations that make it difficult to work and even carry out simple everyday tasks. It can lead to a loss of income, medical expenses and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
With this in mind, it is no wonder that a victim of a physical injury will want their case resolved as quickly as possible. A settlement will provide them with compensation for their losses and expenses and give them some mental closure.
However, in these difficult times, getting this type of closure is not so easy. With the coronavirus continuing to spread, businesses are shutting down and face to face meetings are discouraged. One can only wonder how this will affect their personal injury case.
If you are in the middle of a personal injury legal battle and are wondering how the coronavirus will affect your case, read on for the answers to your questions.
What Can I Do to Help My Case Move Along During the Coronavirus Shut Down?
As of this writing, Courts in New York are currently shut down, except for very limited emergency applications and many courts across America are following suit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While these shutdowns are taking place, there is no way for most cases to move forward to trial. However, there are ways your lawyer can work to stay active in your case while you wait for courts to reopen.
For one, you can continue to communicate with your lawyer asking any questions you feel are relevant to your case. You can make sure they are meeting with their teams to keep things on track. Further, reach out to your personal injury attorney and see if there are any outstanding documents they need from you so that once the Courts re-open, your case can move forward as quickly as possible.
The discovery process can also stay active while courts are closed. This will include the gathering of evidence and the submission and exchanging of materials.
In New York City, while courts are closed, their e-filing systems are also unavailable. As a result of the coronavirus, City Courts have Ordered that no e-filings are to take place: No new non-emergency case filings; no Answers and no Motions are to be filed. However, your lawyer can still reach out to defense counsel to see if settlement discussions are possible.
Your lawyer can also be able to stay active by conducting arbitrations and mediations. These are processes where an impartial third party comes in to help the disputing parties find a legally valid resolution.
They may be able to be done via video conferencing platforms like Skype or Zoom.
It is important that your lawyer is well equipped to make the transition from a fully functioning office to a paperless, online format as seamless as possible. Lawyers who already work on a mostly paperless basis will experience minimal disruption during this process. However, in this technologically advanced world, it is hopeful that most companies will be prepared for the changes they will have to make.
What if My Lawyer is Not Prepared to Represent Me Remotely?
If you find that your lawyer is unable to provide you with a smooth transition to a remote system, you may consider finding another lawyer. Fortunately, this is completely legal, and, with the courts being closed, for the time being, it should result in minimal disruption to your case.
Switching lawyers should also have no financial impact.
In most cases, the fee agreement you have with your attorney will be for one-third of the recovery. If you switch attorneys mid-case, your former lawyer and your new attorney will have to agree upon their respective fee split. Therefore, you will not be charged any additional fees, and you only pay all attorneys, former and new, 1/3 of the recovery, fewer expenses incurred.
Finding the Right Lawyer to Represent You During the Shut Down
If the lawyer that is representing you does not have the capabilities to continue providing their services during the lockdown, and you are seeking new representation in the Manhattan, NY area, Michael Redenburg is highly recommended.
Michael Redenburg has years of experience in the field of personal injury. He prides himself in providing clients with open and direct communication, no matter what is going on in the outside world. He has the updated technology to keep your case active during the lockdown and he has a proven track record for success.
Don’t let the lockdown shut down your case. Contact Michael Redenburg to get the help you need when you need it. He will see to it that you get the closure you deserve.