COVID-19 Affects Your Personal Injury Case! Be Aware & Protect Yourself!
From car accidents, to a slip-and-fall, and every other variety of personal injury, the components of a personal injury case are overwhelming. To make matters more complex, we are now confronted with this current pandemic known as COVID-19.
What does this mean for your case?
Most likely you have or will be impacted in your ongoing care and/or treatment as medical facilities have been forced to curtail operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your care can be affected in many ways: by medical facilities only allowing limited patients (or by being closed), by chiropractors not taking new patients, delays in surgeries insurance companies have deemed “elective”, by the inability to access doctors in person, and/or the inability to obtain and procure specialist referrals/treatment needed.
What if you have a gap in treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
If you were in a motor vehicle accident during or before the pandemic and now you have a gap in treatment it is important that you know what to do next and proceed appropriately to protect your case and your health. Historically, those recovering from personal injury accidents have been penalized for having a gap in their treatment period. Even in regular circumstances where some people felt or were told they were done treatment and then later experienced an increase in pain weeks or months after they stopped treatment, insurance companies often attempt to deny the ongoing pain as related to the accident and act as though you have newly reported pain “not related to the accident”.
So far, during the pandemic, it appears insurance companies have been much more lenient on making payments for treatment under personal injury protection (no-fault insurance) related to motor vehicle accidents if there has been a gap in treatment caused by COVID-19. We also expect that if your matter reached the need for a jury trial the Jurors would be most understanding of the various difficulties from the pandemic which should allow insurance companies to be more forgiving about gaps in treatment.
During COVID-19 with or without treatment you can do the following three things to help your case:
- Document absolutely everything! In every personal injury case, a journal or calendar is always helpful. During the pandemic it will be even more helpful. Writing down things as they happen makes it easier to remember how you were feeling and what you did on a day-to-day basis. Document every stretch you looked up on the internet, every time you take over the counter medication, every time you couldn’t do a household chore because of an injury, or anything else you feel impacts your life as a direct result of your injury.
- Utilize virtual doctor visits. Most health plans have some sort of virtual doctor visit available right now. Even if you do not have health insurance, your personal injury protection will be able to pick up the bill. Having a virtual visit will allow you to get medical documentation of your injury, get referrals to other providers, and get medicine for pain if necessary.
- Seek legal representation/protection. Personal injury cases are complex legal matters, and COVID-19 has brought even more challenging obstacles that will be difficult to overcome. While it is difficult to predict this new territory, it is best if you have people by your side to fight for you. It is more important now than ever to have someone helping you navigate your case with the insurance companies. Do not feel like you have to deal with this alone.