When you are in an auto accident, life can be turned upside-down. Between your injuries, any lost wages, and the damage to your vehicle, your post-accident life can be extremely stressful. Under normal circumstances, an auto accident attorney can help make things right with the world, but what happens during a pandemic?
You got in an auto accident during the pandemic. What do you do now?
The current health crisis that the world faces does not change the fact that you need an attorney. Your first step -- pandemic or not -- is to call an auto accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Your attorney can advise you on what steps to take next.
Can auto accident attorneys handle your case during the pandemic?
While stay-in-place orders and social distancing may prevent you from meeting with an attorney in person, you can still connect with them via the phone, a video chat, or an online meeting platform. Face-to-face meetings are not necessary at this point in time. Start by calling the office as soon as possible after your accident to make further arrangements.
Should you wait to file paperwork until after the pandemic?
While it may seem as if life is standing still during the pandemic, it isn't. Attorneys are still working. Paperwork is still being filed. Life is still happening. Waiting only prolongs your closure. Fill out all necessary paperwork and return it to your attorney as soon as possible to keep the process moving forward.
Furthermore, paperwork that is filed is typically stamped with the time and date it was received. Once everything returns to normal again, all court filings will be entered into the docket in the order they were received. Filing your paperwork now is in your best interest as there may be a backup of court filings once the pandemic recedes.
Are the courts even open during lockdown?
At this point in time, each state has different orders from its governor, and the individual courts -- local, state, and federal -- may be open or closed during that time. When a court is closed, however, it does not necessarily mean that there is not staff working. It may simply mean that the building itself is closed to the public. In fact, some courts have even implemented remote hearings for civil matters like auto accidents.
Will the lockdown affect my case?
In all likelihood, yes. The pandemic will affect your case. Everything has been moving slower the past two months and will likely continue to do so for at least another month, if not more. This does not mean, however, that you should wait. You should not put something this important on hold. You have medical bills to pay and a life to get back to.
What questions should you ask before hiring an auto accident attorney?
You want to make sure that the firm that you hire has the capability to work remotely. While COVID-19 took many Americans by surprise, you need a firm that was proactive in working remotely and has the resources to continue to do so. Ask about virtual conferencing, remote working, and how they are maintaining contact with clients. Most attorneys work via email frequently, but it is important to have a strong understanding of how they are continuing to serve their clients during this pandemic.
Contact an auto accident attorney to talk about your case and how to best proceed during these difficult times now, not later. They can provide the help you need and guide you in your decision-making process.
To learn more, contact an auto accident attorney.