What the Covid-Driven Court Backlogs Mean for Personal Injury Cases • LegalScoops
Despite the rise in coronavirus in the US, people still suffered various injuries from car accidents, slips and falls, etc. Accident victims could still file personal injury claims and seek compensation for their injuries, but certain issues have impacted many cases, in particular on the legal arrears.
The court arrears are expected to persist for the foreseeable future, postponing months of personal jury trials. With the introduction of vaccines, the threat of COVID-19 is decreasing, but it will take time for the courts to work through the backlog of cases. In addition, the courts will give higher priority to some cases that are unlikely to include personal injury.
Law firms believe that it will take the judicial system several years to come to terms with the backlog. So expect your personal injury case to take a while.
Should you, the plaintiff, hold on?
You may feel that you should hold on to your settlement for the best deal possible, but when you need the money it may not be that smart.
As a personal injury claimant, you are the average person who may have missed time on work due to your injuries. You’re likely struggling with paying medical bills too. If you prefer out-of-pocket payments, you may not have the luxury of holding out indefinitely.
If getting an early deal makes all the difference to you financially, perhaps it is better to get the check to ease your financial burden.
Defendants and Trials
Benchmarking requires you to reach a satisfactory settlement agreement and this can prove difficult at times. A settlement agreement requires negotiation between the plaintiff and the defendant (usually the insurance company).
These procedures are not always known for a smooth conclusion due to differing opinions. Even if you want to resolve your case quickly, the other party may want to delay settling the claim. Each side is looking for leverage to improve their negotiating position, which often lengthens negotiations.
The defendants use various tactics to try to pay as little as possible
Insurance companies and defendants are motivated by the idea of saving money and sometimes have no incentive to settle quickly. Sometimes they may be trying to take advantage of your desperate situation to resolve the case too quickly. However, the pandemic gives them the opportunity to take their time handling cases.
Sometimes their hesitation to settle down can work in your favor, but also against you. The defendant could take advantage of your need by offering you an unacceptably low settlement amount to settle the case quickly in the hopes that your financial troubles will help. This offer can also be a test to see what you are willing to accept.
If the defendant or the insurance company is willing to give you money too quickly, they are likely not trying to help you. Most likely, they will settle below the value of your claim. You might also be concerned about how a jury would decide against you. As a result, you can suffer significant loss of your money too quickly.
Decide on your personal circumstances
Your lawyer is the best point of contact to advise you on the best course of action – whether to accept an offer for an early settlement or to wait for your case. An experienced lawyer will give you information about your claim value and let you know whether the settlement offer covers your claim for your injuries. The best settlement agreement is what lawyers want for their clients. Remember, the longer the trial dates are postponed, the less impetus the defendants have to come to an agreement. So the longer you wait, the better your billing could be.
Despite the fear of going to hospital during the pandemic and its aftermath, one of the most important ways to maximize your personal injury coverage is with appropriate medical documentation. So make sure you get medical treatment and document it. Also, make sure to complete the treatment.
After all, as the recession deepens, people don’t always pay their insurance premiums. This could affect your ability to claim money back if an under or uninsured driver is causing your injury. In this case, you may have to seek benefits from your insurer, who is often just as resistant to third-party claims as the insurer.
Legal Scoops’ senior editor Jacob Maslow has founded several online newspapers, including the Daily Forex Report and Conservative Free Press