Will COVID-19 Impact My Personal Injury Case?
If you have been injured in an accident of any kind, your first thought is likely your health and physical well-being. At some point after that, however, it is likely that your focus will turn to seeking compensation for an accident that may not have been your fault. But with the COVID-19 pandemic going full-steam, it seems like the entire state is shut down.
Will that shutdown affect my personal injury claim? Can I get a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer? Can I take my case to court? The answers to those questions clearly will have a significant impact on any personal injury claim you might have. So what are the answers?
The Impact of COVID-19 is Widespread and Serious
It seems that the numbers regarding COVID-19, also called the coronavirus, change almost as fast as officials can report them. At the beginning of April, state officials were reporting more than 7,000 coronavirus cases statewide and 70 fatalities attributed to the coronavirus. That same report put the number of cases in Philadelphia at 1,852, with 13 deaths. The day after that, city officials reported the number of cases in Philadelphia had grown to 2,100. While nothing like the number of cases in New York City, Philadelphia health officials deemed the risk as “high” for the rapid transmission of COVID-19.
Naturally, state and local officials have taken steps intended to curtail the spread of the virus. Since March 23, the state has been under a lockdown ordered by the governor. The statewide order allows only essential businesses to operate. You can still go to the grocery store, but you won’t find any open movie theaters, bars, restaurants, or other places where people typically congregate.
Access to Courts is Limited, But You Can Still Talk to a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
The courts in Philadelphia are currently only dealing with emergency cases. The First Judicial District, which covers Philadelphia, issued an order suspending all jury and non-jury trials until further notice. Further, all civil pre-trial conferences, case management conferences, and other pre-trial meetings between attorneys and the court have been postponed.
None of that means you can't talk to a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, however. Just as technology has revolutionized peoples' personal lives – the smartphone in your pocket is a vastly more powerful computer than any desktop computer you owned ten years ago, for instance – it has also revolutionized personal service industries, including the practice of law.
It is now possible to talk face-to-face to a Philadelphia personal injury attorney with no more equipment than the phone in your pocket. That attorney can gather information and make court filings over the internet without either of you ever leaving home. At times like this, when your ability to leave home – and your attorney's ability to see you in person – is limited, technology can remove most of the barriers that in times not that long ago would have halted your case in its tracks.
And while court trials and many other activities are on hold, your attorney still can file complaints, motions, and other court documents remotely. Your attorney also can conduct negotiations on your behalf without meeting face-to-face with the defendant or insurance company. Video teleconferences area as commonplace as phone calls and can make it possible for your attorney to share documents with the opposing attorney without ever being in the same room.
Philadelphia’s restriction on non-essential business does not prohibit attorneys from practicing law, engaging in permitted court activities, or engage in limited access to their offices so long as social distancing and other mitigations are taken to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus. Whether your injury arises from a car accident, a slip and fall, dog bite, bus accident, truck accident, or any accident of any kind, your personal injury attorney is still there to help, even in times like these.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered injuries in an accident of any kind in the Philadelphia area, you should retain a lawyer to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. You can still do this despite the restrictions imposed to inhibit the spread of COVID-19. The attorneys of Mattiacci Law, LLC, can assist you in protecting your rights when you are involved in such an accident. You can reach us at (215) 709-7915 or through our website.