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How the Covid-19 Pandemic Can Affect Your Personal Injury Case

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Posted on October 1, 2021

The Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the way personal injury attorneys assist clients. Almost 18 months after the pandemic started in March 2020, many personal injury lawyers are still working from home in various parts of the country, and most courts are still holding hearings online. Our firm shut down initially during the pandemic, and we almost exclusively met with clients virtually for the first few months. However, after Utah’s governor provided resources for how businesses could continue to operate, our personal injury law firm reopened and followed state guidelines for safe practices, including masks and social distancing.

Access to Medical Treatment

One of the main components affecting personal injury cases is making sure that our clients can receive the best medical treatment necessary to recover from their injuries. Receiving reasonable medical treatment is critical to any personal injury case to prove what your damages are. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many patients and health care providers have delayed or cancelled their treatment or appointments for fear of spreading or contracting the Covid-19 and the new Delta variant.

The Attorneys at We Win Injury Law have made sure that our clients receive the best care possible. We have made additional contact with local physicians so that we ensure our clients are only being referred to clinics and hospitals who have safeguards in place so our clients can be comfortable and confident they are as safe as possible during the pandemic.

How the Covid-19 Pandemic May Affect Personal Injury Cases in Utah Courts

On the state level, when the pandemic began, the Chief Justice, on behalf of the Utah Judicial Council and Utah Supreme Court, issued a March 13, 2020 Administrative Order, which changed the way Utah attorneys would practice law during the pandemic. These rules affected Utah’s approximately 8,581 licensed attorneys fairly quickly.

Courts began running quickly using Cisco’s WebEx virtual technology. For many tasks, this has been seen as a great innovation in efficiency for many lawyers, as lawyers can appear virtually from their office. I recall having to wait in-person for hours on a case if the court was behind on their calendar. This no longer happens as we wait virtually for a hearing to be called. I can work on client’s cases or meet with client’s while waiting for the court to call my case. In fact, all 300 attorneys in Washington County been required to go back to the in the 18 months since the pandemic began, with a few exceptions.

Since that time, the Supreme Court has issued various new orders, rescinded old orders, and there is an active administrative order currently in effect since September 21, 2021. This current order requires any zone in red (nearly every single county in Utah except Piute, Daggett and Rich Counties), must wear masks when entering the courthouse. The mask can only be removed in special circumstances if physical distancing is allowed. The good news is that the courts are still open, albeit by telephone or electronically, to the public.

Impacts on Personal Injury Settlement Negotiations

The negative side of the current state of Utah’s Court situation is that they specifically affect personal injury attorneys and their clients. The current order prohibits a county in a red phase from conducting in person civil jury trials. Again, this is currently nearly every single county in Utah. Additionally, the courts are behind on their criminal jury trial calendars, so even when jury trials do resume, criminal trials will take priority over them.

This has had a huge impact on the ability of clients to timely resolve personal injury cases that necessitate a civil jury trial because insurance companies are aware of the delay. The threat of going to trial is no longer as threatening to insurance companies because they know that a civil jury trial could be pushed out months or even years, depending on the current backlog with our district courts. Instead, our personal injury attorneys have had to find other ways to increase settlements so that our clients don’t have to just endlessly wait on settlement.

The Right Lawyer Helps

The Covid-19 pandemic will continue to have far-reaching effects that will continue to affect personal injury cases, including settlements and litigation for the foreseeable future. If you have been injured during or even before the pandemic began, and you wish to pursue a claim to recover for your injuries, it is important you retain an expert personal injury lawyer who understands the nuisances involved to your specific personal injury case.

We Win Injury Law has the resources and experience required to assist you in pursuing the full amount of compensation available to you. We are available 24/7 and remember, our consultations are always free, and you will never pay anything to us out of pocket. We don’t get paid unless We Win your case.