While Canada grapples with COVID-19, people continue to suffer injuries in car accidents, slip and falls, and other ordinary events. A personal injury victim can still bring an injury claim to pursue compensation for their injuries during the pandemic. However, they should be aware of certain issues that may affect their insurance claim and potentially the compensation they will obtain.
3 Must-Know Tips for Advancing a Personal Injury Claim During COVID-19
One of these issues is the shutdown of the court system. Consequently, a personal injury case may not be resolved as quickly as it would be under normal conditions. Almost all personal injury cases settle before going to trial, but many cases proceed through the early stages of the litigation process before the parties settle. Therefore, some personal injury victims may face delays in getting their case resolved.
Tip 1: Resist Financial Pressure to Settle
The financial stress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak may motivate some personal injury victims to settle their cases as soon as possible. A victim may urgently need settlement money from their settlement, especially if they have lost their job or experienced reduced income. Some insurers will try to take advantage of financial hardship by extending an unfairly low settlement offer to the injury victim. As in all personal injury cases, think twice before accepting the first offer from the insurer. It likely will not cover the full scope of your losses or damages. Remember- you only have one injury claim per incident and cannot reactivate a personal injury claim once a settlement has been reached.
Injury victims can also expect more resistance than usual from many insurers during the negotiation process due to profit pressure felt by the insurance companies. Some insurers will attempt to offset losses in other areas of the business by being especially frugal in their negotiations with injury victims. The solution to this problem will be a properly constructed injury claim. Be sure to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can protect your interest and ensure that your injury claim is developed properly to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Tip 2: Try Hard to Receive Medical Treatment
To maximize compensation in a personal injury case, the injury victim must show that they are committed to their recovery. The insurer will expert the injury victims to have sought out medical treatment that has been recommended by their health care providers. Not only does the insurance company expect injured people to seek treatment, the records from the visits to various medical practitioners will assist your personal injury lawyer to advance your claim for compensation. The medical records will assist your lawyer to appreciate the full scope of your injuries, now and in the future. Your records will be used to assess how much your injury claim is worth and how your injury claim should be negotiated with the insurance company.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, many people feel reluctant to visit a hospital or a doctor’s office, due to concerns about the virus. These concerns are reasonable, but getting treatment is critical to the value of a claim. Injury victims are encouraged to seek out virtual medical care if appropriate. Also, making a record of home exercise will help show efforts to improve health and wellness while clinics are closed. Once medical clinics reopen, injury victims should seek in-person appointments as soon as possible.
During the outbreak, accident victims may need to wait longer than usual to receive treatment. Many will not know the full scope of their injuries until they complete their treatment and reach maximum medical improvement. If this is the case, victims should not accept any settlement until they have spoken to an experienced personal injury lawyer about their claim.
Tip 3: Be Aware of Lapses in Insurance Coverage
Due to the economic downturn, some drivers may not keep up with paying their insurance premiums. This could result in the loss of coverage. A victim who is struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver may not be able to recover compensation from the at-fault driver. Their only option may involve pursuing benefits through their own insurer. Time limits apply to claims made against your own insurer under Section D of your auto policy. These claims require considerable investigation and are typically more complex. Be sure to speak to a lawyer about your rights and required action points immediately.
If you or someone you know has been injured during the COVID-19 pandemic, call NOVA Injury Law now for a free case review.