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How the Coronavirus Affects Personal Injury Claims

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May 28, 2020

If you have an existing personal injury case open, you may be wondering if COVID-19 will impact your personal injury case. You may also be wondering about your legal options in the event that you or a family member contracts the disease or if a family member passes away from the coronavirus. 

Is the coronavirus a personal injury case? Will your existing liability case be impacted by the coronavirus? At the Morris James Personal Injury Group, we want to walk you through your legal options and answer your specific questions regarding a COVID-19 personal injury claim.

Liability Cases Pertaining to Contracting COVID-19

What are some of the possible liability cases pertaining to contracting COVID-19? Liability cases related to COVID-19 may include personal injury cases, wrongful death cases, workers' compensation cases, and product liability cases.

1. Personal Injury

If you sustain a personal injury during COVID-19, you may have a liability case. Coronavirus personal injury cases may be addressed in a similar manner to other illnesses caused by individuals and corporations. A personal injury case pertaining to contracting COVID-19 is similar to an infectious disease case.

When you suffer a serious injury in Delaware, you may be able to recover the following compensation: 

  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits
  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future lost wages
  • Future medical bills
  • Vehicle and home modifications
  • Loss of consortium or companionship

2. Wrongful Death

If a loved one passes away due to COVID-19, the case could be considered a wrongful death case. In Delaware, if your loved one has died due to another person's negligence, you may be able to make a claim. Wrongful death occurs when a person's wrongful act causes another person's death, for which that person could have pursued a personal injury case had his or her death not occurred. A wrongful death case is brought by the victim's surviving family members.

3. Workers' Compensation

If you contract COVID-19 at work, will it be covered as workers' compensation? Exposure cases, such as if you test positive for COVID-19 after you come into contact with a customer who tested positive for the virus, counts as a workers' compensation case. If the case is minor and you do not require hospitalization, however, pursuing a claim for workers' comp may prove too difficult.

What if you are working remotely? Can you still file for workers' comp? If you are working from home during this time, you can still file for workers' compensation.

How Existing Liability Cases Could Be Affected

So, will the coronavirus affect your personal injury case? If you have an existing liability case, it may be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. You should discuss your case with your attorney.

Treatment From the Injury Could Be Delayed

Because hospitals are focusing on severe cases, you may have to wait longer for treatment. Typically, we recommend getting treatment right away, but a delay in treatment can be expected during this time due to the virus. Since many healthcare facilities have halted elective surgeries, this may mean that your treatment is delayed. 

Should Ongoing Treatment Be Paused?

Unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider, you should continue your ongoing treatment. You may want to consult your physician to see if he or she has any telehealth services available, as this option can decrease your risk of contracting COVID-19. You may also need to abide by amended protocols from your doctor's office. 

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Below we answer a few of the commonly asked questions we have received pertaining to personal injury claims and COVID-19.

Will the Statute of Limitations Be Extended for Personal Injury Claims?

Statutes of limitations may be affected by COVID-19 court closures and other obstacles. Since many delays are out of your control, statutes of limitations may be suspended. In Delaware, statutes of limitations that would have otherwise expired between March 23, 2020, and June 13, 2020 are extended through July 1, 2020

Will My Car Insurance Coverage Be Affected If Delaware Declares a State of Emergency and I Get Into an Accident?

If Delaware declares a State of Emergency, and you get into a car accident, your auto insurance coverage will not be affected. You may still need to travel for supplies, food, and medication, so your auto insurance will remain intact.

Are Delaware Courts Open?

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Delaware Court facilities are closed to the public until June 13, 2020, unless the order is modified or lifted. During this time, courts are operating with lower numbers of staff. However, you can still reach out to the appropriate court during the COVID-19 emergency. Across the nation, federal judges have also moved to virtual court operations. 

Can I File an Accident Claim During COVID-19?

Yes, you can file an accident claim during COVID-19. Though people are traveling less due to stay-at-home orders, this circumstance does not mean that accidents will stop occurring altogether. Accidents continue to occur during the pandemic, and injured victims are still entitled to pursue legal action and file personal injury claims.

Contact Us With Questions Related to a Personal Injury Claim

Do you believe you may have a personal injury case pertaining to contracting COVID-19? Are you concerned about how your existing personal injury case or treatment may be affected during the coronavirus pandemic? Our lawyers in the Morris James Personal Injury Group are ready to help you with your personal injury claim. 

Times are challenging, so you may not be sure where to start in getting fully compensated for your damages. Our attorneys specialize in personal injury, and we have helped thousands of clients with personal injury claims in Delaware. 

Contact the Morris James Personal Injury Group today if you have questions related to a personal injury claim or for a free consultation.

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