We are unfortunately in the grip of one of the greatest threats to humanity in our lifetimes. The death total from the coronavirus passed the number of casualties from 9/11 yesterday. We are all frightened.
If you are a client of our law firm or someone who has been in a recent car or truck crash and are seeking to hire a personal injury lawyer, you may be wondering if you should proceed with your case. This post will attempt to answer your questions and observe how the personal injury landscape has changed.
How is a car accident case affected?
Almost everyone working for a company is restricted and incomes have been slashed. We are getting calls and emails from our clients asking us what to do.
We wrote about some of the ways that personal injury cases might change or have changed.
Has the pandemic affected the economic value of a case? And given the financial hardship that has happened since your collision, should you settle your case now or continue on with the claim or lawsuit?
The answer is complicated. It depends on the answers to these questions and others.
Questions to ask
- Are you still injured? How seriously?
- Are you still under a doctor’s care? Will continued treatment reduce your injuries? Are pain-relieving medicines and anti-inflammatories helping?
- Are you still not able to perform your normal job duties?
- Will you need medical treatment in the future? Do you need additional diagnostic testing? Surgery? If so, how much is that estimated to cost?
- How much are your damages? Do you know how they are calculated?
- Have any of your medical bills been paid by health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or some other source?
- Do you have other insurance policies that may also be required to pay you?
- Can any of your medical bills be reduced or written off?
- How much is your case worth in court? What do similar cases settle for in the county where a lawsuit will be or has been filed?
- Can you get a larger verdict from a court or jury than you have been offered by the insurance company?
These next weeks and months will be extremely difficult for most people.
Tips to help make ends meet
- File for unemployment benefits.
- File for the economic impact checks, tax refund and other IRS assistance.
- File for a Small Business Administration loan.
- Small businesses and self-employed persons: file for a Paycheck Protection loan.
- Ask your mortgage company/landlord, bank, or other creditor for an extension.
- Do not apply for an extremely high interest lawsuit loan.
Less traffic on the roads – the only upside from the crisis
We are mostly ordered to stay home. So that has to be good news with the resulting decrease in car accidents. After all, almost 40,000 people die in traffic wrecks each year and almost 4.5 million are injured.
Most states have ordered residents to shelter in place except for limited reasons like driving to the doctor or grocery. In addition, 80 counties and 17 cities have seen the wisdom in doing so. The best way to restrict the spread of the coronavirus is to keep people away from each other.
Who has to stay home?
This is also complicated. There is a patchwork of regulations in Texas, with local officials getting to decide whether or not to impose more restrictive orders. Most have.
Here in North Texas, all counties have restricted movement except the more rural Parker, Wise, and Hood Counties on the other sides of Fort Worth. And Dallas, Fort Worth, and other cities have cracked down.
Across the state, other counties which have done this include the following:
Amarillo, Bell, Bexar (San Antonio), Brazoria, Cameron, Chambers, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gregg, Harris (Houston), Hidalgo, Hunt, Kaufman, Liberty, McLennan, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Scurry, Smith, Star, Travis (Austin), and Willacy
Most counties have clearly defined which businesses are “essential.” But in Collin County, all businesses were somehow deemed to be essential so traffic north of Dallas is reported to be much heavier.
Further, the governor asked people driving in from Louisiana to self-quarantine for 14 days. However there is no enforcement and no screening at the state border.
You have to wonder why there are still so many people driving around. And even with the light traffic, we still see people speeding, running red lights and blowing through stop signs.
Crashes like this horrible one early Sunday morning should never happen, especially not now.
Deadly Dallas crash
A Dallas girl died and five people were injured in an horrific crash outside of downtown Dallas.
An ambulance was transporting someone to a hospital at around 6:00 o’clock a.m. when a 15-year-old driving who was not allowed to drive carrying three teens was speeding. He caused his car to leave the road, where it crashed into a bench before flipping upside down. The car kept sliding and collided into the ambulance taking someone to the hospital. What a nightmare.
The 15-year-old is being charged with vehicular manslaughter and assault charges.
We can help you
The coronavirus has impacted the lives of everyone in the world. And no one knows what will happen next.
You may think that worrying about your injury case is not a high priority item. But if you have been the victim of a car accident and need help getting the results you need, please contact us.
Rest assured that our dedicated staff is working as hard as ever to help our clients recover from their injuries and get compensated for their damages. We are working remotely but have all the technology we need to get our jobs done.
Most insurance companies and law firms continue to do business.
Courts have restricted their trials and hearing schedules but are resolving disputes. We submitted an affidavit to help resolve a court case today, for example.
Please stay safe. We wish everyone the best of health.