Will COVID-19 Affect My Accident Claim?
The Coronavirus has devastated the American economy in just weeks and closed many courts, prompting many of those injured in accidents to ask ‘will COVID-19 affect my accident claim?’
Although the global pandemic has affected law firms like every other sector of our society, the outbreak will not fundamentally impact your accident claim. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is still open for business and accepting new clients, while still following social distancing rules
Why You Should Seek Legal Counsel During the COVID-9 Pandemic
You should not delay your accident claim because of COVID-19. Although your claim may take longer to process than before the outbreak, Virginia’s strict deadlines on when to file a lawsuit remain in place. You could lose your right to take legal action and recover compensation if you wait.
During tough financial times, some people avoid retaining lawyers. This can be a serious mistake. We expect the insurance companies to fight your claims harder than before the Coronavirus outbreak. They are more likely to lowball your claims. At times like this, hiring a Virginia personal injury lawyer can be more important than ever. Unlike divorce or tax attorneys, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t ask for a retainer fee upfront. We only get paid if we win a settlement or a verdict for you down the line.
We understand the fear out there in Virginia as the cases of Coronavirus continue to rise. Fortunately, many aspects of the personal injury process can continue online or on the phone and we will continue to work diligently to process your case and to get you the result you deserve.
Key Questions on Whether Coronavirus Will Affect Your Claim
- Will the Insurance Company Settle My Claim During Coronavirus?
Yes. However, you should be aware that the insurance company will be looking at its bottom line. Some insurers try to lowball claimants who don’t fight for their rights. We believe the insurers may become even tougher to deal with. They may drag their offers down further and seek to settle auto accident claims as quickly as possible before you can obtain legal representation.
- Am I allowed to File an Accident Claim During a Stay-at-Home Order?
Yes, the insurance companies are remaining open for business and should process your claim in their normal manner.
- Will Coronavirus slow my Settlement Check?
The settlement process could be delayed slightly because the insurance companies are operating with fewer people in their offices. They have many people working from home, and this creates some issues with delays. However, the insurance company should still work on your claim.
- Will My Injury Lawyer Continue to Work on my Case?
Our injury lawyers will continue to work on demands, issue letters, and research your case as before the outbreak.
Why Insurance Companies May Be Harder to Deal with During the Coronavirus
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers’ senior analyst Daniel Jarman, points out the insurance companies make their money off the stock market and other investments. When the economy is in freefall, these sources of money are hit hard.
“In times like these with the stock market down so dramatically and the economy reeling, they begin to take a very hard line on where they spend their cash. They no longer have the cushion of their investments and quickly being to lose money. This leaves few options for the insurers. They can raise insurance rates, or they can reduce what they pay toward their existing and future claims,” Jarman said.
“This means the insurers tighten down the hatches on claims that they must pay as they struggle to maintain profitability. We can expect insurance companies to become much more aggressive in their attempts to settle out at the lowest dollar possible and as quickly as they can. They want to make sure the injured party settles before having a conversation with an attorney. It is in times like these when having effective counsel is so important. The insurance company is expecting you to settle quickly and at the low amount they determine. Don’t let that happen to you.”
The good news is that the insurance companies don’t dictate the terms. A tough personal injury lawyer could challenge a low insurance company offer. We can file a lawsuit and take your case all the way to a court hearing if necessary. You should not have to settle for less. Although the insurance company may be offering less, your medical bills won’t be any lower than they were before the Coronavirus crisis.
The Effect of Virginia’s Statute of Limitations on Your Injury Claim
Virginia has a strict statute of limitations for personal injury claims. In general, someone who suffers an injury has two years to file a lawsuit for injuries suffered in a car accident, a slip and fall, or another accident. If you miss the deadline, you lose the right to sue forever. When a lawsuit is filed and the litigation process starts, the availability of the court determines a trial date.
Two years seems like a long time but it goes quickly. Your personal injury lawyer often must make extensive inquiries to build a case. Don’t leave it until the 11th hour to contact an attorney. Court closures due to COVI-19 will cause delays in a system that will likely be overburdened when the courts reopen. Contact an attorney now to talk about your options.
Talk to a Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer About Your COVID-19 Concerns
These are unprecedented times. Although millions of Virginians are staying at home, don’t let your accident claim suffer. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is open for business and we can talk about your case on the phone, text, or another remote method consistent with social distancing rules.
We expect insurance companies to become more ruthless over the next few months. They are likely to employ more tricks to stop you claiming or to persuade you to accept a low offer. Please contact our experienced personal injury team today for advice.