In response to preventive measures taken by the government and the Center for Disease Control in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, organizations and institutions have adopted alternative practices, including remote working for business continuity.
At Patterson Law Group, we have taken every precaution regarding the coronavirus, including equipping our employees with the necessary resources to work from home. While our physical offices at Fort Worth headquarters and our Arlington and San Antonio offices will remain closed, we can be reached remotely by email and phone.
We remain practically open to offer you the support you need in cases of personal injury. Our team stays up to date on all developments through weekly meetings made possible by Zoom. You can also visit our Facebook page for the latest information on the latest developments. As COVID19 speeds through the US, many people are injured from 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 as the nation battles this pandemic.
What does COVID-19 mean for my personal injury case?
Whether the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the resolution and settlement of your personal injury depends on where you live.
We have temporarily suspended all time limits for residents of Texas with whom we have filed a personal injury lawsuit. However, this does not mean that work on your case has ceased. As your personal injury attorneys, we still write pleadings and motions, conduct ongoing legal research, negotiate, take and defend statements, participate in mediation and at the same time prepare for your case.
However, if we did not submit your case, the claim that the statute of limitations has expired has been pushed back. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not going to 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. In order to maximize your compensation award in a case 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 will be reluctant to visit hospitals for fear of contracting the virus. While these concerns are reasonable, it is nonetheless important that 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 personal injury case will also take longer as the scope of the damage will be determined after treatment is complete and maximum medical improvement is achieved.
Are the Texas Courts open to hear my case?
When Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the state a disaster, the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Court of Appeals issued an emergency order, overriding various provisions related to legal proceedings. The Emergency Order enables all proceedings, including hearings, depositions, and other types of court appearances, to be conducted electronically via conference calls and video conferences.
Courthouses will remain closed to protect lawyers from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. However, it is still possible for your personal injury attorney 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 streamline arbitration, mediation, legal proceedings and insurance claims as needed.
Can I make an accident claim during the coronavirus pandemic?
Yes. Despite the government’s policy of encouraging more people to stay home, it does not mean an accident-free era. The 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, the law requires you to claim personal injury. The good news is that the statute of limitations can be extended in all courts across Texas.
Possible extensions of the limitation period
For unfulfilled and future personal injury cases, the Supreme Court First Order allows all courts in Texas to extend the statute of limitations in each case by a specified period of time ending 30 days after the disaster declaration was lifted.
Typically, the state of Texas will allow the injured party to file a lawsuit for up to two years from the date of the accident, in accordance with the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code 16.003. As part of the extension of the legal restriction, the plaintiff’s deadline to file a lawsuit is extended by 30 days from the date the governor’s declaration of disaster expires.
An important point to keep in mind when making the initial order is the use of “may” with reference to the courts. Lawyers and litigators should carefully monitor the competent courts to determine if the law has been extended in that court.
Patterson Law Group is here to help
With that in mind, at Patterson Law Group, we strive to serve you 24 hours a day, 365 days a week. We are available to take 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 running the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. We are available for appointments for more serious personal injuries.