Here at Starks Byron, we understand intimately the incredibly stressful times we are all living in. If you have a personal injury case in progress, your stress levels may be at an all time high and you may be wondering how the Covid-19 outbreak will impact your legal matter. You should be reassured that we are prepared to continue bringing your case to a resolution and are taking a proactive approach to your legal representation during this unprecedented pandemic.
Through our state of the art technology, providing us with the capability to continue working remotely, and our team’s creative methods of continuing to conduct discovery and depositions through teleconferencing and video chats, we will continue to move your case forward and help you achieve your legal goals.
We would also like our clients to note that, just like law firms, many insurance adjusters have also been set up for remote work. This will permit them to continue working and allow us to continue with any pre-suit negotiations.
While we are working every day to keep things progressing, you are probably aware that some medical providers are cancelling their appointments and closing their offices. While many are providing video appointments, this is not always feasible and you may be forced to reschedule a medical treatment or assessment. During this time, we are advising our clients to keep a record of all coronavirus related cancelled and rescheduled appointments in a log or journal so that any gaps in treatment are explained and documented. Doing so will help to make sure that defendants do not attempt to use a treatment gap to their advantage during negotiations or any future trial.
Finally, the State of Georgia has declared a Judicial State of Emergency until April 13, 2020. This means that the courts will remain open for only essential judicial matters such as those affecting individuals’ health, safety and liberty. The State has urged that when Court proceedings are held, that they must be done in a way to limit the risk of exposure to Covid-19 and therefore video conferencing is encouraged. This means that your deposition or mediation may not be cancelled or rescheduled, but may proceed through video conference.
Something significant to note is that deadlines, timelines and scheduling requirements will be tolled for the duration of the emergency. This means that any filing deadlines occurring between now and April 13th, will be extended until after the emergency. This includes statutes of limitations for filing personal injury cases, deadlines for services on other parties and timelines for completing discovery. This means that if you were considering bringing a personal injury action but believed you might be out of time, you may now have a chance to quickly bring your case.
Please know that we are all in this together and are prepared to do everything we can to make your legal experience a smooth one. We understand that you might be unable to work due to your injuries and are relying on a settlement to pay your living expenses and medical bills and we will take every necessary step to move your case to resolution and ease your financial and emotional burdens.