In response to government and Center for Disease Control measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, organizations and institutions have adopted alternative practices, including remote work for business continuity.
At Patterson Law Group, we've taken all precautions related to the corona virus, including providing our people with the resources they need to work from home. While our physical offices at Fort Worth headquarters and offices in Arlington and San Antonio remain closed, we can be reached remotely via email and phone.
We remain practically open to offer you the necessary support in cases of personal injury. Our team keeps up-to-date on all developments through weekly meetings made possible by Zoom. You can also visit our Facebook page for information on the latest developments. As COVID19 races through the United States, many people are injured by car accidents, slips, and other unfortunate events.
If you are wondering what will happen to your personal injury, we can give you a glimpse of what to expect if the nation fights this pandemic.
What does COVID-19 mean for my personal injury case?
Whether the COVID-19 pandemic affects the resolution and settlement of your personal injury depends on where you live.
Texas residents for whom we have filed an assault case have been temporarily suspended. However, this does not mean that work on your case has been stopped. As your personal injury attorneys, we still write briefs and applications, conduct ongoing legal research, negotiate, take and defend statements, participate in mediations, and prepare for your case at the same time.
However, if we haven't submitted your case, the requirement that the statute of limitations has expired has been pushed back. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we won't put your case on hold. We will continue to write and send claims, obtain relevant documents and negotiate with the insurance specialists.
Will medical treatment after an accident be more limited under the current pandemic?
Hopefully not. To maximize your compensation premium in the event of personal injury, you must receive medical treatment as recommended by your doctor. According to legal requirements, medical records are still important to prove the extent of your injuries and the reimbursable costs.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are reluctant to visit hospitals for fear of becoming infected with the virus. Although these concerns are reasonable, medical treatment is critical to the value of your claim.
With hospitals across the state saturated with COVID-19 patients, an accident victim has to wait longer than usual to receive medical treatment. This means that filing a case for personal injury will also take longer because the amount of damage is determined after treatment is completed and maximum medical improvement is achieved.
Are the Texas courts open to hear my case?
When the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, declared the state a disaster, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Appeals passed an emergency order and overruled various lawsuits related to court proceedings. The urgency order enables all procedures, including hearings, deposits and other types of court appearances, to be conducted electronically through conference calls and video conferencing.
Courthouses remain closed to protect judicial officers from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. However, it is still possible for your personal injury lawyer to make our claim.
At Patterson Law Group, we have prepared for remote access and multimedia presentations to maintain interaction with courts and clients. This will help us optimize arbitration, mediation, litigation, and insurance claims as needed.
Can I file an accident during the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Yes. Despite the government’s directive calling on more people to stay at home, this doesn’t mean an accident-free era. Speed has increased dangerously during the pandemic.
Distracted driving continues to be a challenge on the roads. Accidents are reported even during the corona pandemic. If you are the victim of personal injury, you are required to file a personal injury claim under the law. The good news is that the statute of limitations can be extended before all courts across Texas.
Possible extensions of the limitation period
For unfulfilled and future personal injuries, the first Supreme Court order allows all Texas courts to extend the statute of limitations by a fixed period of time that ends 30 days after the disaster declaration is lifted.
Typically, the state of Texas allows the victim to file a lawsuit up to two years after the accident date, in accordance with Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code 16.003. With the extension of the legal restriction, the plaintiff's time to file a lawsuit is extended by 30 days from the date on which the governor's declaration of disaster expires.
An important point to note in the first order is the use of "May" with reference to the courts. Lawyers and litigators should carefully monitor the competent courts to determine whether the law has been extended in that court.
The Patterson Law Group is there for you
With this in mind, we at Patterson Law Group strive to serve you around the clock, 365 days a week. We are available to answer calls from injured customers and complete the entire recording process electronically (by phone, Skype and email). You don't have to worry about being in a public place and taking the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. We are available for appointments for more serious personal injuries.