In normal times, when you file a personal injury claim, and the defendant makes a settlement offer, you weigh the amount of the settlement against the costs of litigation and the risks of taking your case to a judge and jury. But these are not normal times. The coronavirus pandemic has turned our lives upside down, adding a number of considerations to the decision whether or not to accept a settlement offer.
In the aftermath of a personal injury, particularly when it affects your ability to work, there’s always some degree of financial insecurity. That insecurity might be heightened as a result of the pandemic, when many people are unemployed, and many companies are closing their doors. The prospects for returning to work may be less than encouraging, even if your likelihood of recovering from your injuries is good.
In addition, you also may be pressured by an insurance company to accept a settlement. These are uncertain times for everybody, and insurers are no different. Don’t be surprised if an insurer aggressively encourages you to accept a settlement.
Though many medical facilities are starting to resume non-essential procedures, you may still have to wait to get the treatment you need. Doctors might not know the full extent of your injuries, and what you’ll need to maximize medical recovery, until diagnostic procedures are performed. If that’s the case, then it may be in your best interests not to take a settlement until you have a good understanding of what you’re facing and what treatment you’ll need.
Like other professions, the legal profession has found it necessary to prioritize. Most courts are currently giving precedence to criminal and family law matters, or other emergency or critical concerns. You can expect that your personal injury lawsuit will take a bit longer than usual to make its way through the courts.
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