Hiring a Car Accident Attorney During a Pandemic
Florida is not exempt from the stay at home orders being issued due to the Covid-19 crisis. As business interruptions, closures, and event cancellations continue while we navigate each phase of the reopening process, you may be wondering whether your legal claims – or pending legal claims – are worth pursuing at this time. If you’ve been involved in a car accident during the pandemic, it is not recommended you wait to speak with an attorney. While you may not be able to meet with your lawyer in person, you can still navigate the process of hiring an attorney virtually, and prepare your case to be heard virtually, as well. Similarly, while most Florida courts have altered their schedules in order to accommodate the pandemic, many cases are still being heard virtually. The best approach to ensure you are covered for your car accident claim is to hire an experienced lawyer without delay.
Are lawyers taking new cases?
While most Florida lawyers have curbed the amount of visits they’re accepting in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, most car accident attorneys are still scheduling virtual meetings with current and potential clients. While this may seem nontraditional, it is part of the new normal – and you can just as easily get your questions and concerns addressed via a Zoom call as you can in person. Once you make the decision to hire a lawyer, your attorney can work virtually via phone and email communication to begin investigating the facts of your case.
What can I do to move the case along, with social distancing measures in place?
With everyone spending more time at home, the best thing you can do is stay on top of your phone and email communications. Oftentimes, your attorney will need to check in regarding the existence of certain documents, such as medical records, police reports, or repair costs in order to gain a full picture of your lawsuit and its needs. Similarly, it’s important to let any of the providers you’re working with know that you’ve hired an attorney who may need some assistance in order to proceed with your case. In this unprecedented time, some businesses have a much greater workload than others, so communicating timeliness is key.
Are hearings and other courthouse proceedings being delayed?
At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, on April 6 the Florida Supreme Court issued an emergency order offering guidance for legal professionals and their clients, advising that jury trials would be suspended and pending legal deadlines would be pushed through the end of May. This naturally had some pretty significant consequences for those awaiting trial. However, most car accident and personal injury cases are handled and settled outside of trial, with the vast majority of insurance companies and defendants preferring to settle out of court in order to save the time and expense of trial. You can read our recent blog post to find out more about what Florida’s courts are currently doing about in-person jury trials.
If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident, it’s best to get started on your case right away – whether or not the courts are fully in session. Your attorney can initiate many of the most important steps toward case settlement, including contacting your insurance company, making the requisite court filings, and gathering evidence supporting your claim. It’s unlikely that your case will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic if it proves advantageous for all parties to settle the claim out of court.
The Florida Law Group’s response
At The Florida Law Group, we are taking precautions to keep our clients and our team safe, and working hard to ensure that injured accident victims’ cases are moving forward. We are offering free virtual consultations at this time for new clients, and if you are a current client, you can contact our attorneys any time to discuss how your case is proceeding. Because the COVID-19 situation is changing daily, we are monitoring the situation and making decisions accordingly, keeping all of our lines of communications open so clients feel informed and empowered.