COVID-19 Pandemic: Settling Your Personal Injury Claim vs. Waiting
As the coronavirus disease continues to spread throughout Florida, many people still get injured in vehicle crashes, motorcycle collisions, slip and falls, and other accidents. Despite Florida’s stay-at-home order, which is expected to last until April 30, Floridians still have legal rights to pursue monetary compensation for their injuries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Handling a personal injury claim – or any other legal case, for that matter – is rather problematic during the pandemic, mainly because most courts have been shut down to slow the spread of the virus.
The pandemic has also impacted the injured party’s ability to settle their claim as efficiently and quickly as before the pandemic. While up to 96% of personal injury cases are settled pretrial, many cases proceed through at least one court hearing before parties reach a consensus.
In light of this, many accident victims may experience delays in getting their legal cases resolved during the coronavirus pandemic. But should victims settle their claim during the pandemic? Or should they wait?
Should You Settle Your Claim During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Those who have ongoing personal injury cases are wondering whether they should settle their claim during the pandemic or wait until the pandemic is over.
When You Should Settle
Some people may have no choice but to settle their claim during the pandemic simply because they have no finances to support themselves, let alone to afford medical treatment.
Those who are running low on finances during the pandemic or live paycheck-to-paycheck may be more inclined to settle their case for any amount to be able to continue their treatment and put food on the table. We highlighted the word “any” for a reason. Insurance carriers may take advantage of the financial uncertainty triggered by the pandemic in order to offer low-ball settlements.
Most insurers continue working during the pandemic after switching their adjusters to remote working. Because of this, you should not experience any unreasonable delays when trying to reach your adjuster by phone or email. If there are unreasonable delays on the insurer’s end, it may be because your insurance company is engaging in “bad faith” practices.
If you wish to settle during the pandemic, your adjuster can send you the settlement agreement by email, while the claims department will most likely be able to set up a direct deposit into your banking account. However, it is still advised to have a Miami personal injury attorney review the settlement offer to ensure that it is not too low given the circumstances.
When You Shouldn’t Settle
While many people are facing financial strains due to the coronavirus pandemic, others are still as financially secure as they were before the pandemic. In this case, the injured party is not tempted to accept any settlement offer just to get quick cash, and should not settle their claim for an unfair amount.
Instead, get help from a personal injury attorney to keep persuading the insurance carrier to increase the settlement offer to ensure that it reflects the extent of your serious injury. Given that Florida’s statute of limitations for PI claims is four years, there is plenty of time to settle your claim at a later date.
Contact our Miami personal injury attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado to talk about your situation. Call at 305-670-2889 to determine whether you should settle your case or wait until the pandemic is over.