How COVID19 has impacted Personal Injury cases
The whole world has been impacted by the global pandemic known as COVID-19. Self-quarantine, stay-home, and social distancing orders have become the new norm. Not only will these changes impact your daily life, they may also impact your personal injury claim.
Executive and Judicial Orders
On March 30, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Five, which put into place a state-wide, stay-home order. Executive Order Fifty-Five requires people to stay in their homes and practice social distancing. You can read the full text of the Executive Order here.
Additionally, Chief Justice Lemons of the Supreme Court of Virginia issued a judicial emergency, which mandates that all non-emergency hearings be continued and that no more than ten people at a time be present inside any court room. The full text of the Judicial Order is available here.
Inability to Receive Treatment
Taken together, these two orders translate to postponed treatment and court appearances. In other words, doctors, physical therapists, and other providers may postpone treatment for your injuries by a month or more. You could find that your doctor or therapist’s office is completely closed until after the corona virus is under control in order to minimize the potential to spread the virus to others. If this happens to you, call your attorney immediately to let her know; she will be able to provide you with alternatives to postponing your treatment if you need immediate care.
Continuances for Trials and Hearings
Virginia courts are also having to postpone or “continue” many—if not all—personal injury cases. This could postpone your trial date by 3-4 months or more. The most important thing you can do is maintain open communication with your attorney so that you’re aware of any changes to your court date.
If you have questions about anything that you’ve read in this post, or if you have general questions about or need representation for a personal injury case, please call 804-250-5050.