The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on people’s lives in every area imaginable, from causing them to search all over town for basic commodities, distancing themselves from family and friends, or even leading to people losing their jobs;. But if you have an active personal injury case pending, you may be wondering: what impact will the coronavirus have on open and pending personal injury cases?
At The Eberst Law Firm we plan to continue wholeheartedly fighting for you during this hectic time, as we understand that just because the coronavirus has placed many aspects of people’s lives on hold, that does not mean that your injuries and your auto accident claim should suffer the consequences as well. We are prepared to and have the resources in place to work remotely if need be so that we can continue to monitor and ultimately, settle your case.
Will I still be able to receive treatment at medical facilities?
What we have noticed so far is that the office policies in place at medical facilities are different amongst each state, county, and city due to both state wide and local health regulations in place. Everything seems to be in flux, sometimes changing at a moment’s notice. For this reason, we suggest speaking with medical facilities in detail before you schedule with them to make sure they are accommodating new patients at this time, and if they are, finding out what their regulations and restrictions may be.
We only want you to treat with facilities that are doing their greatest to sanitize and disinfect their entire office and who have strict policies in place about only allowing healthy physicians to assess you. Some medical facilities are offering telemedicine options, and if offered, this is certainly one way to maintain your treatment as you wait to see the physician in person.
With all of this being said, it is absolutely vital that you maintain your treatment with licensed physicians to the best of your ability during this time, because the assessments and diagnoses from these medical professionals are utilized to substantiate your medical claim and are necessary so that we can obtain the highest settlement possible for you.
Please see our article, “Seek Immediate Attention After A Car Accident” to read more about the importance of medical treatment for your personal injury claim involving a car accident.
We understand that people are being asked to stay at home during this time, but we are just advising that if and whenever possible, it is very important to maintain consistent medical treatment for your personal injury case.
Of note is that in Florida you have to treat with a licensed medical professional within the first 14 days of a crash in order to receive your full $10,000.00 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. This is an important law to familiarize oneself with right now, as some people are frightened to treat at all in the aftermath of a crash due to fears of contracting the coronavirus. You can read more about PIP coverage on our webpage, “Car Accidents” subsection, “Understanding Personal Injury Protection and the Right to Sue”.
Consider Assessing and Increasing your Auto Insurance Coverage to Protect Yourself
Unemployment rates are drastically and quickly increasing due to the coronavirus. One of the potential negative outcomes from this is that people may be forced to let their auto insurance coverages lapse (amongst other things) or downgrade their auto insurance premiums as they struggle to pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities. This means that there will possibly be even more uninsured and/or underinsured motorists in Florida than usual, which makes it more important than ever to ensure that you have Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage.
This Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage, which isn’t usually automatically added onto a policy, is vital if you are involved in an accident with a driver who has a low limit of insurance coverage or even worse, no insurance coverage in place to pay for your injuries related to the crash. Please read our article, “Clarifying Full Auto Coverage” to obtain more details regarding some of the different types of auto coverage available to you.
Will I still be able to undergo recommended Procedures and/or Surgery for injuries related to my case?
As coronavirus cases increase every day, federal authorities are urging doctors to postpone elective surgeries so that both doctors, medical supplies, and medical facilities can be freed up for a potential influx of coronavirus patients. However, what does this mean for a person who was involved in a traumatic auto accident, and who has either contemplated scheduling or has already scheduled to undergo a recommended procedure such as an epidural steroid injection and/or a more extensive procedure such as a spinal fusion, in order to relief his or her severe, persistent pain?
The good news for these individuals is that the definition of an “elective procedure” is relatively inconsistent from facility to facility and has not yet been clearly defined, so if your doctor is willing to and prepared to perform this procedure, then you will more than likely be able to go through with it for now. However, it never hurts to keep an eye on the healthcare regulations that are ever-changing, especially recently.
At The Eberst Law Firm, we believe that you should not have to suffer in pain for an undetermined amount of time as you wait for the coronavirus to clear. Many people believe that “elective surgeries” should qualify as procedures that are more cosmetic in nature, such as plastic surgery, or procedures that can be scheduled at a later date without a negative impact (like pain) on the individual, such as the removal of benign tumors.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm if you have been in an Auto Accident
Overall, the effects of the coronavirus on personal injury cases are numerous and include many other topics than we have covered in this article. Other issues that we are seeing are courthouse schedules are being changed or delayed, which inevitably slows down the progress of cases in litigation, and with this, our hands (along with other attorneys) are tied. Doctors’ offices and insurance companies are either closing or are only working from home, with some of them operating on a skeleton crew and/or working less hours altogether.
However, rest assured that even with all these changes in place from the coronavirus, we will ensure that your case receives the highest dedication possible, and we will still be there for you every step of the way.
Contact us today at 772-225-4900 for a free consultation if you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident so that we can begin alleviating your worries by beginning our investigation and our representation.
Photo by Fusion Medical Animation