What Impact Will COVID-19 on Personal Injury Claims?

July 3, 2020

By now, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the massive disruptions that COVID-19 has created in every industry as well as our everyday way of life. Law offices are no exception, as the viral pandemic has imposed enormous changes on the day-to-day operation of the legal business. In fact, the virus forced many courts to close for several months, and even now, virtually all are operating at diminished capacity. Many attorneys are also pivoting to digital court appearances, in observance of newly-imposed social distancing requirements and other changes in the wake of COVID-19.

If you have a current claim on file with a personal injury attorney in Santa Rosa, CA or are concerned about your chances of filing one in the future, read on to see what experts predict the personal injury practice will look like going forward.

Can you still file a personal injury claim during COVID-19?

Even though physical courthouses have opened back up for the most part, many are still restricting access to the general public. Current cases are also experiencing substantial delays, as judges and other court staff work through the backlog accumulated during widespread shelter-in-place order. Of course, we all know that even during a pandemic, accidents will still happen, and claims will still accrue. This has forced new thinking in the justice system, which is already producing substantial changes in how it operates. In fact, many courts that have been slow to embrace technology are now allowing electronic filing of documents, in an effort to aid social distancing efforts while a vaccine is developed.

While we can’t speak to how the pandemic will everyone, lawyers and courts are making every effort to work through their cases online or remotely, to the maximum extent possible.

What kinds of cases can we expect to see as a result of COVID-19?

Here’s a closer look at the types of cases we’re expecting to see coming in during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Domestic violence: We have already seen an uptick in the number of domestic abuse claims reported to police, which is typical of any occasion where families are forced or expected to spend more time together (such as the winter holidays). Going forward, this unfortunate trend is likely to continue while distancing efforts remain in place.

Medical negligence or malpractice: Although California has been lucky to avoid an extreme impact on our public healthcare system thus far, there are still pockets where patients with non-COVID-related injuries haven’t received proper care, or worse, caught the virus and were significantly affected during their hospital visit. As a result, the legal industry could see an uptick in medical negligence cases, especially if the patient contracted the virus in the hospital.

Injuries arising from working at home: Many industries are moving to a work-from-home setup in an attempt to keep businesses running during the pandemic and shelter-in-place requirements. However, without proper office equipment, we could see a rise in musculoskeletal injuries and other serious damage caused by the switch. Experts predict that this could become a hot topic in the months and years to come.

Personal injury attorneys in Santa Rosa, CA

If you have a personal injury claim, don’t let COVID-19 deter you from calling a skilled attorney. The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc. continues to fight for our clients, even during the pandemic.

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