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  • Filing for Personal Injury Claim During Quarantine: All You Need to Know

    September 11, 2020

    Across the globe, courts made rapid and drastic changes in their practices and procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, since person-to-person meetings are prohibited, law firms are using alternative options like remote meetings.

    With all the changes that are going on, some clients are left confused. What should they do if they get into an accident? What happens if they need to file a claim? How can their personal injury attorneys help?

    Several steps are needed when filing a personal injury claim. For instance, claimants need to process specific requirements. However, because of the health risks, many claimants are unable to go to clinics and hospitals. If you need to file for personal injury claim during this time, here are some things to keep in mind:

    Can I file a personal injury claim during the quarantine period?

    The answer is yes. While some law firms and judicial offices are still closed, some lawyers are still working on cases and negotiating claims. Regardless if it’s a new claim or an ongoing one, you can rest assured it is moving forward.

    Many Canadian provinces, including Ontario, are now slowly moving toward reopening. Some courts have also begun reopening their doors. In several jurisdictions, hearings that have been adjourned have now resumed. Procedures and timelines for filings have also continued on an amended basis.

    However, most hearings are still held by telephone or videoconference unless the court requires that an in-person hearing is required. Some filings can also be made, while some urgent requests for hearings can be submitted by email.

    Some jurisdictions like Ontario’s court of appeal are still suspending in-person hearings until further notice.

    Are statutes of limitations suspended?

    Statutes of limitations are the maximum period an individual needs to complete a lawsuit. Failure to file the lawsuit within the required period will result in case dismissal. Typically, in personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is from two to four years.

    If the claim is filed against the government, the lawsuit needs to be submitted in 90 days (or less) from the time of the accident.

    Understandably, with the quarantine and safety measures in place, adhering to the statute of limitations has become challenging. Seeking medical treatment is no longer as easy as it used to be. As a result, several states have suspended the statutes of limitations.

    They also pushed back court proceedings and lawsuit schedules. However, procedures vary from one state to another, with some states extending the limitations rather than suspending it.  

    Are face-to-face legal proceedings still allowed?

    Mostly, face-to-face legal proceedings are still done remotely. In several states, law offices and courthouses are conducting procedures in virtual spaces. That means rather than face-to-face appointments, client-lawyer meetings are now conducted remotely through various video chat tools.

    Depositions, hearings, and other court proceedings are mostly carried out via online conferences. This means you can still check with your personal injury lawyer remotely as well rather than face-to-face.

    In case you can’t meet your lawyer online, you have the option to set a future appointment. Ideally, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible, so when the law office resumes full operations, you’ll be among the first people on the list.

    What other options are available aside from in-hospital and clinic visits?

    Since getting a doctor’s report or medical treatment is difficult, law offices and courts are adjusting the processes and schedules to adapt to the new changes.

    Many clinics and hospitals are not conducting appointments via video chat. If online treatment is not possible, it would be best to document what you did from when the accident transpired until the time you attempted to get medical treatment.

    Documentation should include photos of any injuries or damage. It is also essential to take note of the names of everyone who witnessed the accident. Your documentation can serve as evidence that you did your share to mitigate damages.

    Conclusion

    Even when limited by quarantine and safety regulations, you’ll still need a legal representative that can handle your personal injury claim so you’ll get the proper guidance on how to move forward.

    About the Author

    Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time.

  • Filing for Personal Injury Claim During Quarantine: All You Need to Know

    September 11, 2020

    Across the globe, courts made rapid and drastic changes in their practices and procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, since person-to-person meetings are prohibited, law firms are using alternative options like remote meetings.

    With all the changes that are going on, some clients are left confused. What should they do if they get into an accident? What happens if they need to file a claim? How can their personal injury attorneys help?

    Several steps are needed when filing a personal injury claim. For instance, claimants need to process specific requirements. However, because of the health risks, many claimants are unable to go to clinics and hospitals. If you need to file for personal injury claim during this time, here are some things to keep in mind:

    Can I file a personal injury claim during the quarantine period?

    The answer is yes. While some law firms and judicial offices are still closed, some lawyers are still working on cases and negotiating claims. Regardless if it’s a new claim or an ongoing one, you can rest assured it is moving forward.

    Many Canadian provinces, including Ontario, are now slowly moving toward reopening. Some courts have also begun reopening their doors. In several jurisdictions, hearings that have been adjourned have now resumed. Procedures and timelines for filings have also continued on an amended basis.

    However, most hearings are still held by telephone or videoconference unless the court requires that an in-person hearing is required. Some filings can also be made, while some urgent requests for hearings can be submitted by email.

    Some jurisdictions like Ontario’s court of appeal are still suspending in-person hearings until further notice.

    Are statutes of limitations suspended?

    Statutes of limitations are the maximum period an individual needs to complete a lawsuit. Failure to file the lawsuit within the required period will result in case dismissal. Typically, in personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is from two to four years.

    If the claim is filed against the government, the lawsuit needs to be submitted in 90 days (or less) from the time of the accident.

    Understandably, with the quarantine and safety measures in place, adhering to the statute of limitations has become challenging. Seeking medical treatment is no longer as easy as it used to be. As a result, several states have suspended the statutes of limitations.

    They also pushed back court proceedings and lawsuit schedules. However, procedures vary from one state to another, with some states extending the limitations rather than suspending it.  

    Are face-to-face legal proceedings still allowed?

    Mostly, face-to-face legal proceedings are still done remotely. In several states, law offices and courthouses are conducting procedures in virtual spaces. That means rather than face-to-face appointments, client-lawyer meetings are now conducted remotely through various video chat tools.

    Depositions, hearings, and other court proceedings are mostly carried out via online conferences. This means you can still check with your personal injury lawyer remotely as well rather than face-to-face.

    In case you can’t meet your lawyer online, you have the option to set a future appointment. Ideally, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible, so when the law office resumes full operations, you’ll be among the first people on the list.

    What other options are available aside from in-hospital and clinic visits?

    Since getting a doctor’s report or medical treatment is difficult, law offices and courts are adjusting the processes and schedules to adapt to the new changes.

    Many clinics and hospitals are not conducting appointments via video chat. If online treatment is not possible, it would be best to document what you did from when the accident transpired until the time you attempted to get medical treatment.

    Documentation should include photos of any injuries or damage. It is also essential to take note of the names of everyone who witnessed the accident. Your documentation can serve as evidence that you did your share to mitigate damages.

    Conclusion

    Even when limited by quarantine and safety regulations, you’ll still need a legal representative that can handle your personal injury claim so you’ll get the proper guidance on how to move forward.

    About the Author

    Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time.

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