Michael Damaso / 03-24-2020 / Personal Injury

How the Coronavirus Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

CoronavirusAs Central Florida and the rest of the country adjusts to its ‘new normal,’ we would like to let you know that our staff and firm are fully operational during this time. We have had some inquiries about how the coronavirus might affect your personal injury case and we would like to share with you some important information regarding the same.

Do not delay seeking medical treatment. First and foremost, it is imperative that you continue to receive medical treatment to help get you recovered.  Personal injury cases not only involve emergency medical treatment but also treatment after the fact. A doctor may need to closely monitor your progress. An injured person may need to go through extensive physical therapy or receive pain relief in the form of steroid injections, even undergo surgery. The fear of contracting the coronavirus should not keep you from receiving that treatment. In fact, not being treated for your injuries may only help the insurance company’s claim that you are not as severely injured as you claim in your case.

If you are concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus, contact your hospital or medical providers and share these concerns.  Make sure to notify the health care providers treating you for the case related injuries as well as your primary care physician.  Ask what they recommend and what precautions are being made. Bring a mask with you when you go to any medical facility to help prevent contracting the virus, and always wash your hands before and after going to the facility. Whatever you do, do not delay receiving or at least seeking the medical treatment you need. Your doctors need to know what is going on so keep them up to date and always be complete and honest on medical forms. If you have an elective procedure that has been cancelled or delayed due to the corona virus, please make sure to get that back on the books as soon as the corona dust settles.

Court Delays & Closures. Due to the spread of the coronavirus, courts across the country have begun to conduct business remotely or only on an emergency basis.  The Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court has issued an order suspending most jury trials, which includes personal injury cases set for jury trial. This order means if you have a case set for trial in the next few months, it will be delayed. Jury trials can be difficult to get on the court’s calendar so this delay could mean months for injured people waiting to receive justice for their injuries. Orange County courts have issued an order limiting access to the Orange County courthouse beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through the end of business on March 27, 2020. Only specific individuals can be admitted, including those given advanced written notice by the Chief Judge or presiding judge or persons seeking injunctions or restraining orders for their protection.

Further, if a legal deadline or hearing date is missed by attorneys or clients due to court closures during this emergency, you will be protected by the court orders extending deadlines. This emergency delay does not give you the right to purposefully delay discovery, but it does excuse a delay if there is absolutely no way the client or attorney can complete certain tasks due to illness or closure of the courts. However, we are working diligently to make sure deadlines are complied with and not missed.

At Wooten, Kimbrough, Damaso & Dennis, P.A. we can handle your case remotely as needed to reduce exposure to and spread of the coronavirus.  Intake can be handled entirely electronically by phone, e-mail and website submissions. We take calls from clients and injured victims 24/7, 365 days a year.  For current clients, please keep in touch with your attorney during this time and make sure you respond to all communications sent by your attorney so that you do not miss any important deadlines for your case.

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Disclaimer: All verdicts and settlements listed here are gross amounts before deductions for attorney fees and costs. Past results do not guarantee similar results in the future. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result. Before choosing a lawyer, ask for written information about the lawyer's legal qualifications and experience.