Should I Wait To File A Personal Injury Claim Until The Courts Are Fully Open And Operational?
For a number of reasons, waiting to file a personal injury claim with the court is not a good idea. Right now, there is no freezing of the statute of limitations. You’re not going to get additional time at this point. Aside from that, assuming that you have three years to file, it is not good to wait because you’ll only be slowing yourself down. There are a number of steps that can still be taken to try to get the case ready. Even if there’s a slowdown in terms of when it might go to trial, you would at least be in queue to move to trial or onto the trial calendar. You would be ahead of the people who would be starting their claim. I expect there to be a tremendous backlog of cases that are waiting to go to trial. Why would you want to be at the end of that long line that’s coming?
What Is Happening With Personal Injury Cases That Were Set For Trial Since COVID Hit?
Since COVID hit, all cases have been adjourned. It’s a little disconcerting because you don’t have any idea of when it might move forward. It’s frustrating, but I guess it really mirrors the frustration that we all have in so many aspects of our lives right now. This is an unprecedented time. No one knows when things are going to get better. Hopefully, it’ll be soon. In the legal industry and the personal injury side of the legal sector, it’s hard to predict when things will get back to normal.
Are Insurance Companies Fighting Harder To Deny Or Lowball Settlement Offers Due To Their Own Economic Constraints Since COVID Hit?
The types of settlement offers received for claims depend on the company. We have been able to reach good six-figure settlements that would not have been a dollar less pre-COVID era. However, that’s not always the case. There are a number of claims where we have hit a bit of a holding pattern with the lawyer and the insurance company on the other side. There could be a number of factors as to why that might be, but I think that COVID is definitely a very big factor. They know that they don’t have a trial next month. They may not want to pay now to keep the money in their pocket as long as possible. Without a trial looming, they’re not even motivated to fully evaluate the claim at this point. It doesn’t really matter what the reason is, the bottom-line is the same. It is definitely taking longer to resolve cases right now.
I Feel Pressure To Settle My Personal Injury Case Due To Financial Concerns Compounded By COVID. Is It Safer To Settle Now In Case The Economy Gets Worse?
We always have clients who feel financial pressure to try to settle the case, regardless of the pandemic and economic situation. At the end of the day, my job is to advise them what I think their case is worth in great detail. Ultimately, I work for them. If they tell me that they rather get 25 now as opposed to 50 later, then I’ll do whatever they instruct me to do. Of course, I will caution against it if they could get twice the money and they’re more patient. However, sometimes people make these decisions based on what they need to do at the present time.
I often have that conversation with clients and advise them if they could possibly borrow some money from a friend or a relative to hold them over. If it’s someone who wants to have a lien on the files so that they’ll be protected when we do settle, we can do that. I recently did that for a client last week. They were able to borrow a few thousand dollars to hold them over. That will really help them because they have a surgical case that can yield a low six-figures. They’ll be in a better position than having to settle for much less early on.
I don’t think it’s different with COVID other than it’s another factor that might make this type of calculation more common. The bottom-line is the same. If you can hang in there and get a 100 cents on the dollar, then you’ll be much better off than taking 50 cents on the dollar.
I’m Worried I Can’t Afford A Personal Injury Attorney Due To Economic Losses From COVID And My Injuries. Should I Wait To Hire An Attorney?
Our firm, as well as most injury attorneys, are not paid hourly for our efforts. I am paid a contingent fee of one-third of the net settlement. That means that you don’t have to go through your wallet or purse to pay me. When we take a case, we do so because we think it’s a good case. We believe in you and your case. Therefore, we will fight for you. We’ll get paid at the end. We’ll be partners in this. It doesn’t matter if you’re a multi-millionaire or someone who is scrapping to get soda money. It works the same for everybody.
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