Q: How may my personal injury case be affected by the coronavirus?
Clients of New Mexico personal injury attorneys may be wondering how the global pandemic of the coronavirus, also known as COVID– 19, might impact their lawsuits or claims.
In a personal injury action, a victim seeks to recover compensatory damages due to a serious injury they received as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of another person or entity. In order to prevail, the victim has the burden of proving the defendant(s) was liable for their injuries.
Reasons you should not wait until after the pandemic’s restrictions are lifted to contact a personal injury attorney about commencing legal action
While state laws differ, each state provides a specified time period during which a personal injury lawsuit must be commenced. This time period is known as the statute of limitations.
In addition, if the victim is suing a government entity or municipality, there is generally an additional (and much shorter) time window during which the victim’s attorney must serve a Notice of Claim putting the proposed defendant government entity on notice of their intention to sue. For example, in New Mexico, that period of time is only 90 days from the date of the incident.
Failure to file a timely notice of claim and/or commence legal action before the statute of limitations expires will preclude a victim from recovering. So, it is very important for victims not to wait to contact a skilled Santa Fe personal injury attorney–even in the midst of a global pandemic–or your claim will be forever barred.
As a result of the coronavirus, the civil court systems have essentially been shut down in many states and cities, resulting in road blocks or delays in commencing new lawsuits and proceeding with others already in progress. There will be expected delays due to the backlog once the courts to reopen.
It’s also important to keep in touch with your personal injury attorney regarding your ability to access ongoing medical care related to your accident or injury as continuity of care is important and can impact your case. In many cities, especially those hard-hit with COVID-19 cases, people may not be able to access non-critical health care as available resources are being redirected to the overload of COVID-19 cases.
In unsettled and unprecedented times–like a global pandemic– it may be tempting to accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, but it’s never a good idea to do so without consulting with an attorney first. A skilled attorney may negotiate a substantially higher settlement.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, as a result of the actions of somebody else, the Hunt Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to wish you may be entitled. Contact us for a case evaluation.
From our offices in Santa Fe, we represent injury victims in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Raton, Roswell, Los Alamos, Las Vegas, and throughout the state of New Mexico.