Four Ways COVID-19 Has Affected the Personal Injury Legal World
We can all agree with Schrier Law Group, that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the entire globe on its head. As more and more of the population develops immunity, we can expect a slow return to something resembling “normal”.
That said, the pandemic continues to affect every industry, including the legal industry generally and personal injury practitioners in particular. Many aspects of how we learned to deal with COVID-19 will likely stick around for long after the pandemic is over and may permanently change the way we all do business. For example, virtual consultations with injured clients may become actually become the norm, and clients may routinely sign fee agreements online rather than in the office.
While technology has allowed many lawyers to continue taking cases and fighting for their clients’ rights, it is undeniable that COVID-19 has put a damper on the personal injury industry and that the road to recovery will be long.
Here are five specific ways that the pandemic has affected injury attorneysÂ and their practices are discussed in greater detail below.
Victims Unsure of Whether they can File a Claim
One of the issues that may be causing a lull in business for personal injury lawyers is that many victims are not sure whether they can file a claim during the pandemic. Many courts are still operating with restricted hours or only adjudicating particularly pressing matters, which victims may take to mean that they cannot proceed with a claim.
Similarly, people who are hurt in accidents may be hesitant to reach out to a lawyer, thinking that they will have to come into the office to discuss their cases, share paperwork, execute a retainer agreement, or conduct other tasks.
Many of the issues are based on misconceptions about how personal injury claims operate. Attorneys and law firms can combat these issues by making efforts to educate potential clients about how claims can proceed during this time. For instance, many victims may not understand that most claims settle and that insurance companies are fully operational even if the courts are not. Similarly, attorneys should make it clear that they are able to take on and represent clients without having to meet in person.
As people hunkered down and stayed home, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of personal injury cases being filed. In fact, according to data analyzed, personal injury filings were down a whopping 46 percent in early April of 2020.
Now, one can begin to speculate that empty roads and people staying home from work caused fewer wrecks, slip and falls, and other accidents. Collected data supports this. Interestingly, however, data released by the National Safety Council indicates that traffic fatalities actually increased during the lockdowns, an outcome many observers attribute to people speeding on emptier roads.
Courts Are Backlogged
Many personal injury cases have life cycles of several months or years, so it’s important for injury lawyers to have cases in the pipeline at all times. Cases that are in litigation may take much longer to resolve than they would have prior to the pandemic, leaving many personal injury lawyers waiting for large cases to conclude.
Victims Failed to Seek Care
Another issue is that many accident victims failed to seek medical care for injuries that required medical attention. Often, injured victims who would have otherwise sought care did not do so for fear of exposure to the virus.
Of course, a lack of medical documentation regarding an injury can be devastating to the outcome of a personal injury claim, as victims do not have records describing the nature and severity of their injuries or causally connecting them to the accidents in which they were sustained.
In addition, as all personal injury practitioners are well-aware, failing to seek medical care can allow insurers and at-fault parties to argue that victims failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate their damages. Combined, these issues can result in significantly lower settlements and awards than victims would have obtained had they sought timely medical attention.
Personal Injury Practitioners Get Ready
The United States is getting close to turning the corner and achieving some semblance of normalcy in the upcoming months. For this reason, many people are considering how they can position themselves to hit the ground running and build businesses back up to pre-pandemic levels as quickly as possible once restrictions are lifted.
It’s reasonable to suspect that personal injury lawyers are going to see an influx of injured clients who have put off filing claims until after the pandemic ends. Unfortunately for personal injury lawyers in certain states, this may mean that you are working with much less time to file than usual.
In fact, in states like Tennessee and Louisiana that have a one-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, you may actually meet with clients whose claims are already time-barred. That said, courts or legislatures may toll statutes of limitation due to the Coronavirus pandemic, allowing otherwise time-barred claims to move forward.
The Schrier Law Group handles many personal injury cases, and Schrier Law has the resources necessary to help you and your family score a successful outcome in any personal injury case before or during COVID-19. It is important that you have your rights defended by someone who knows the law. Contact the Schrier Law Group for a personal injury attorney in Florida today!
How Schrier Law Group Assists Florida Families With Wrongful Death Claims
Schrier Law Group knows that no amount of money can erase, or even substantially ease, the pain of losing a loved one. Especially when it’s an accident that could have been prevented. Still, unpaid bills, along with an uncertain financial future, can increase the affected family’s difficulties tenfold.
wrongful death lawsuit can provide a family with much-needed funds at difficult times. Especially when it has so many other issues to be concerned about. These lawsuits may also help uncover the truth when it is unclear how a loved one died and may even prevent the guilty party from harming some other family in the future.
Understanding and compassionate wrongful death attorneys like Schrier Law Group in South Florida will guide your family through the entire process of filing a wrongful death claim in court to recover appropriate damages for a loved one’s catastrophic injuries and death. Although fighting in court may not be your primary concern at the time, it is imperative for your family to file a claim within Florida’s statute of limitations. This is only a portion of what we can do for families.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death occurs when a responsible person or business violates its duty of care to an individual, resulting in that person’s death. For example, drunk drivers violate their duty of care to their victims when they drive while impaired and cause an accident that kills someone an action for which they should be held accountable.
Many types of accidents can be the cause of a wrongful death lawsuit, including:
- Vehicle accidents, including impaired or distracted driving or manufacturing defects
- Public transit accidents
- Truck accidents
- Boating accidents
- Product liability
- Premise liability
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous drugs
- Construction accidents
- Dog attacks
How is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Florida?
A wrongful death claim is filed by the personal representative, (Schrier Law Group) administering the estate of a deceased loved one. The claim is generally based on an underlying personal injury claim (like listed above). Therefore, the family must prove all elements of an accident and the relationship between the accident and the fatality. The lawyer must present evidence related to the auto accident and demonstrate that the injuries resulted in the loved one’s death.
After recovering damages from the defendant, the estate distributes the compensation to the deceased’s beneficiaries. A wrongful death lawyer in Florida will assist the personal representative through the process of litigating the case and collecting on the judgment.
The aftermath of an accident is just as important as the accident itself. If you have been involved in an accident with a car, truck, or boat, and a loved one has died due to the accident, contact our wrongful death attorney in Florida as soon as possible for help with your claims.
The Schrier Law Group handles many wrongful death cases. Schrier Law has the resources necessary to help you and your family score a successful outcome in your wrongful death case. It is important that you have your rights defended by someone who knows the law. Contact the Schrier Law Group for a personal injury attorney in Florida today!
Seven Reasons Why Boating Accidents Occur
Boating accidents make always news. Maybe it’s because of how it looks on camera. Maybe it is because they are rarer than typical car accidents. But beyond the headlines, one or more of a handful of causes are usually to blame. There are some common boating situations to avoid so that accidents are less likely. However, in the event that you or a loved one is in a boating accident, it is time to contact Schrier Law Group to discuss what your options are. We are here to assist, help, and litigate.
RUNNING OUT OF GAS:
Just because a marine towing company can quickly bring rescue in a gas can on a small body of water, running out of gas in the middle of the Gulf Stream, or in choppy waters, the situation can be dire. How can this happen? Maybe you miscalculated your bearing and burned up too much fuel finding your way, or you fished or cruised longer than you intended. Perhaps you skirted unexpected storms or ran offshore to avoid them. Or maybe you just plain forgot to gas up. Things happen. Don’t let it! Plan ahead so this doesn’t happen to you.
Sometimes entertaining (for some), often embarrassing, and often truly dangerous that is grounding your boat. You don’t want to ground your boat. You want it safe on the water. Stay sober, slow down, keep watch, and keep afloat. In the water but stuck on a bar, you’ll likely be eager to yank the boat off the rocks and end the humiliating drama.
An overboard tumble can be an embarrassing situation unless you knock yourself out on the way over. Now you have a whole different issue. People don’t naturally float face up, so be sure to wear a life jacket that will flip you over. Also, remember that solo boaters who fall overboard are likely to watch the boat run off into the distance. Wear the emergency cut-off-switch lanyard, or its modern, electronic replacement, which kills the motor if anyone wearing a sender falls over. This will cut down on any chances that the boat turns and comes at you.
Thank goodness, boat fires are rare. This is due to spark-protected mechanical systems and double-clamped fuel lines. Still, it pays to be safe. Always be sniffing around for fuel fumes. Look for obvious fuel spills or leaks, or a rainbow-hued slick on bilge water. Never start a marine engine without running the bilge blower for at least five minutes. Make sure you have fire extinguishers aboard, rated for fuel or electrical fires, and that they’re still charged. Have them inspected or replace them if in doubt.
SPEEDING AT NIGHT:
One of the most common causes for boating accidents is not matching your speed to the conditions or settings. At night you can’t necessarily trust your senses to determine a clear path.
FAILING TO MAINTAIN A LOOKOUT:
“I didn’t see them coming!” is the too-often an explanation for boat crashes. Well, see them coming, by maintaining a lookout whether underway or at anchor.
Alcohol slows reflexes and clouds judgment. Both can lead to an accident. Why chance it?
If you follow this list on how to be careful while on the water, you will be dramatically less likely to have a boating issue, or worse, a boating accident. In the event that this was not avoided and you or a loved one need representation due to a boating accident, you want to contact the Schrier Law Group to represent you now! We are here to represent and support!
Dangers of a Construction Site May Lead to Legal Action
One of the most dangerous jobs on the planet is that of the construction worker. They risk their lives making the very building we walk in. On these dangerous worksites, accidents happen. Quite often. Minor injuries, serious injuries, life-threatening injuries, and even fatal injuries happen on these job sites every single day. Many of these workers are given money for time lost and injuries in the form of worker’s compensation. However, if there is a case of negligence involved in the accident, then there is much more to be gained from a lawsuit for a construction accident.
Whether you’ve been involved in an accident as a construction worker or a civilian caught in an accident, then talk to the Schrier Law Group to get the compensation you need for your construction accident.
Legal Actions Construction Workers May Choose to Take
All of these construction workers that get injured are given the option of worker’s compensation. This is where the employer and the victim of the accident come to a term of agreement. These settlements will usually pay out the minimum you can receive from a construction accident.
The other option for construction workers is the personal injury lawsuit. That is where you contact a personal injury attorney law firm like the Schrier Law Group to help you get the compensation you deserve. These litigations will usually go to the companies involved in the accident. For example; the company that owns the faulty equipment that was involved in your accident.
Civilian Accidents at Construction Sites
These may be some of the most dangerous of accidents. Civilians who are neither equipped nor prepared for construction materials. Some of these incidents involve things falling onto passing pedestrians. Accidents such as these may be easily fatal. You are able to hire a personal injury attorney to help you get the money from the contractor of the construction company. They would be held liable for the injuries that you received.
If you’ve been involved in a construction accident and require legal representation, then call the Schrier Law Group today!