The COVID-19 outbreak has seen the shutdown of schools, universities, and small and large businesses throughout the United States, with important dates and deadlines for things like taxes, graduations, and even loan payments postponed. Our everyday lives are being rearranged to make room for the “new normal” of a safe, socially distant existence during this global pandemic.
There are businesses, however, that haven’t paused–hospitals, police departments, fire departments, government agencies, and federal, state, and local courts. These essential businesses and services have taken steps to reduce their workloads in the interest of public safety and the preservation of resources, which means that some things, such as elective surgeries, for instance, have been postponed or canceled.
How Coronavirus Has Affected Courts
So what does the judicial system consider “essential” during this time, and how have the courts been affected by the coronavirus pandemic? The answer is complicated and differs within each court system across the United States. Generally speaking, most courts have taken the following measures:
- Suspended jury trials
- Limited or no public procedures and restricted entrance
- Extended deadlines on fees and fines
- Limiting or suspending in-person proceedings
- Promoting teleconference and videoconference instead of hearings
In addition, many have restricted filings for matters that are not time-sensitive and have updated bail schedules.
So how does this affect something like the statute of limitations?
Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury
In California, you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Only under very rare circumstances are extensions granted, such as
- The injured party not realizing their injury was the fault of another (known in the legal world as “delayed discovery”)
- The injured party was a minor (under the age of 18) or was subject to mental incapacity at the time of the accident
- The defendant (the person you believe is responsible for the accident and your injuries) left the state prior to your filing your lawsuit.
Apart from these, if you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence and fail to file a lawsuit before the 2-year deadline, you have effectively lost your right–and ability–to seek damages, i.e. financial compensation, for your injuries.
How COVID-19 Affects Civil Cases Like Personal Injuries
In light of the recent pandemic, Governor Newsom has enacted Emergency rule 9, which allows the statute of limitations for civil causes such as personal injuries to be tolled until 90 days after the state of emergency has been lifted.
This means if you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident and have yet to file a personal injury lawsuit the clock is still ticking, but you have a little extra time. However, as law firms are continuing to go about much of our business via “contactless lawyering,” there is no reason to put off filing your claim because of the pandemic. At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we are continuing our track record of excellence by putting you and your case as our top priority, even during the coronavirus outbreak.
Life is strange enough right now; let us handle your case so you don’t have to expend energy on anything extra. Our five-star rated, all-female team of lawyers specialize in traffic accidents, meaning we are laser focused on getting you the settlement you deserve. What does this mean? It means we fight to save you from the extra time, stress, and cost that comes from going to trial. Doesn’t that sound nice?
With all of the other stressors right now, the last thing you need to worry about is an expensive trial for something that was not your fault. Saying “goodbye” to a trial doesn’t mean saying goodbye to a settlement with Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers: if you have been injured in a California traffic accident and it has not yet been 2 years from the date of the accident: contact us today!
Rest assured that we are taking every precaution to keep everyone involved safe and healthy during this time; do not fail to seek your right to compensation for fear of virus exposure. You are already a victim due to someone else’s negligence–don’t suffer twice! At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have long been practicing “contactless lawyering” and have all of the tools necessary, like electronic signatures and video conferencing, to work on your case while maintaining proper social distance.
Are you ready to start the road to recovery? As a victim of a traffic accident, you have rights and can seek compensation from individuals who have caused you injury. Contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers today for your free case evaluation. Our customer-focused, exclusively female team of attorneys are experts at getting you the solid settlement you deserve.
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