Will COVID-19 Impact My Personal Injury Case?
The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus is unlike anything we have seen. Hundreds of Nevadans have already died, and many more could possibly pass in the coming months. To keep the pandemic in check, Governor Sisolak has issued a stay-at-home order and closed non-essential businesses. Las Vegas feels a little bit like a ghost town right now.
Because so much has changed, many people are naturally curious about how the pandemic will affect their personal injury case. Some of them worry that they will lose out on their ability to file a lawsuit or to even obtain a settlement. Below, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers highlight what you need to know.
Trials Are Suspended
To help promote social distancing, the Clark County District Court suspended all jury trials on March 13, 2020 for 30 days. Nonessential hearings were also scheduled to be held by telephone, and lawyers were encouraged to hold essential hearings remotely. The Court then continued the suspension in its administrative orders issued on April 17, 2020.
These changes might impact your case if you had a trial already scheduled. However, this is rare in personal injury cases, the majority of which settle before trial. The Court has stated that trials will be rescheduled six weeks after they lift their suspension, so this could be quite a delay. Contact your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer if you have questions about when your trial will be held.
We Are an Essential Business that Remains Open
Naqvi Injury Law continues to help clients and meet with members of the public for a consultation. We are fortunate that we can do most of our work remotely, which allows us to continue with social distancing to protect all members of the community.
Consequently, we continue to accept new cases and work on current ones:
- We can meet for a consultation over the telephone. This saves injured people from having to come into our office for the consultation. Rest assured that we will still provide the same consultation electronically that we would face-to-face.
- We can continue to gather facts for our clients while working in our office. We can request documents from the person who injured you and analyze the novel legal issues raised in your case. This necessary work continues even while much of the rest of the city has shut down.
- We continue to negotiate settlements for our clients if the insurance company on the other side is still in business. Negotiation is usually handled over the phone or by letter, anyway. If we reach an agreement with the other side, we can draft a settlement agreement in our office or review one that the other side has created.
We are fortunate that we can continue to provide many of our services remotely and will continue to do everything we can for our clients during this difficult time.
We Can File New Lawsuits
One concern many people have is that they cannot file a new lawsuit. However, the Clark County courts continue to accept electronic filing, so there should be no impediment to getting your case filed in a timely manner before the statute of limitations expires.
We also are skilled at having the summons and other legal documents served properly on the defendant. The Courts recognize that this could be challenging. They have stated that any delays created by the pandemic constitute “good cause” for getting an extension of the deadline for service under the Nevada rules.
You Should Continue to Receive Medical Care
One question that always arises in personal injury cases is whether the victim contributed to her injuries by not following her doctor’s orders. For this reason, it is vital that our clients continue to make all of their medical appointments, including rehabilitation. Get your prescription drugs refilled and ask about home delivery or curbside pick-up if you are afraid of going out in public. Health care facilities like hospitals, doctor offices, and pharmacies were exempted from the state’s closure because they are essential businesses.
Of course, some health care facilities have closed on their own initiative. Other health care clinics remain open only for emergency care. Ideally, you should call your doctor or physical therapist and check if they are open. If not, please reach out to us to strategize. It might be possible to find a new doctor to meet with or a different rehab facility. We cannot stress enough how important it is to receive adequate medical treatment so that no one can point the finger at you to blame you for your injuries and pain.
At a minimum, we can document that you are doing everything reasonably possible to receive necessary medical treatment during the pandemic. But we need to hear from you.
Document Your Accident as You Normally Would
People are still getting into accidents—car wrecks, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, etc. Even though many people are staying at home, people are still accidentally getting injured.
This means we can continue to file insurance claims during the pandemic. But we need injured victims to continue to document what happened. Some people are expressing fears that there will be fewer police officers out and about. We doubt that. Make sure to call the police after a car accident so an officer can write a police report.
Also get the names of all witnesses to the event and make sure to swap insurance information. You want to make a timely claim, pandemic or no pandemic.
Remember also to fully document the accident. This means getting pictures of any hazard that you think contributed to your injuries. If involved in a car wreck, take photos using your smartphone of all damage to the vehicles.
Contact Our Law Firm for Assistance
This is a challenging time for all of us in Las Vegas. We hope everyone remains safe and protects their families. Rest assured that Naqvi Injury Law will continue to provide the same high-quality service that the community has come to expect.
Please contact Naqvi Injury Law today. Our team is continuing to meet with new clients and work on existing cases.