How To Protect Your Personal Injury Claim During A Pandemic
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or have another injury caused by the negligence of someone else, there are some steps you need to take during this uncertain time to protect yourself and your claim. Even though the coronavirus has closed many businesses across the country — including courthouses and medical offices — attention to your personal injury claim is important. Here’s how to handle personal injury during a pandemic:
Seek Early And Consistent Medical Attention
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not getting treatment after an accident. This is true even during a national health crisis so you can protect your health and your accident claim.
Protect Your Health
If you didn’t get emergency medical treatment at the time of the accident, you should get a medical evaluation from a doctor as soon as possible. If you have one, your own family doctor or primary care physician is often in the best position to evaluation your condition. You may have “soft tissue” or other potentially “hidden” injuries that might not surface for hours, days or even weeks after the accident.
During any stay at home orders, your doctor’s office may have reduced hours or seeing fewer patients. Even if that’s the case, take the first appointment available. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the doctor’s office due to the risk of COVID-19, ask if the office is offering telephone or video appointments. Your doctor may be able to “see” you remotely and prescribe medication, suggest at-home treatments, or refer you to a specialist. Even physical therapy can sometimes be done through video appointments.
The value of your case or how much money you might get will depend greatly on the story that is told in your medical records. If your records reveal delayed or inconsistent medical treatment after the accident, the insurance adjuster will try to use this against you. “After all,” the adjuster will argue, “how injured could you have been if you did not seek treatment soon after the accident and follow-up with your doctor? Maybe some other accident caused your injuries.”
Don’t Open The Door To These Arguments
While obtaining prompt and consistent treatment may be more challenging now, it is not impossible, and the success of your claim will depend on you making a reasonable effort to do so. The BOTTOM LINE is that you should make every effort to get a medical evaluation of your condition and then follow your doctor’s orders. This will help to insure the best possible outcome for your case.
How Long Can I Wait to Call a Lawyer?
When you’re injured in an auto accident in Virginia, you must be aware of the statute of limitations which applies in your particular case. The statute of limitations refers to the time you have following an accident to file a lawsuit. In Virginia, this time limit depends upon the circumstances of your accident and injury. The time limitation starts to run on the date of the accident. Filing a claim with an insurance company does not extend or delay the time.
The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the greater the risk that the statute of limitations time limit will expire. If it does, you may lose your right to sue the at-fault party and recover compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured and someone else is at fault, you should contact a personal injury attorney at the earliest possible time. Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer early in your case will help prevent deadlines from expiring and will allow your case to be properly prepared.
To be able to determine whether you have a case, your lawyer needs to thoroughly investigate the details about your accident and injuries. Investigating the accident and collecting information is much easier if it occurs quickly after the accident has happened. A time delay can result in many problems like lost evidence and witnesses who can’t be found.
When you hire a lawyer to handle your car accident claim, he or she will first negotiate with the insurance company to try to settle your claim. If settlement negotiations break down, your attorney will prepare to file a lawsuit and prepare your case for trial. For this reason, it is especially important that you get an experienced lawyer to help with your case, such as one certified through the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
Talk with a Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered significant injuries in a car accident in Virginia, Ritchie Law Firm is here to help. The experienced, certified attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm has helped thousands of injured victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve after an accident. Contact us by phone at
by using our online contact form
Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.