The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a year unlike any other, and, unfortunately, infection rates are once again on the rise. With the fall and winter seasons being dangerous times for drivers in South Carolina, many drivers in our state will face the unique challenge of seeking to recover their losses in the midst of the pandemic.
While the COVID-19 pandemic impacts auto accident claims in some ways, it has not altered accident victims’ fundamental right to just compensation. If you were injured in a collision and the other driver was at fault, you can – and should – seek to recover your losses under the other driver’s insurance policy. Failing to do so could have long-term financial consequences, and even waiting longer than necessary could make it difficult to recover the compensation you deserve.
3 Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic May Affect Your Auto Accident Insurance Claim
As with all of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects on auto accident claims are continuing to change and evolve. With this in mind, here are three ways that the pandemic may impact your insurance claim after an auto accident in South Carolina:
1. The Insurance Claim Process May Take Longer than Usual
From layoffs to adjusters working from home while attempting to juggle their children’s home school schedules and various other day-to-day activities, several factors may lead to your insurance claim taking longer than usual. As a claimant, however, it is important for you to remain vigilant and take all of the steps you need to take as promptly as possible.
Additionally, as you wait for your insurance claim to progress, it is important not to get anxious about settling. The longer the process takes, the more you may feel tempted (or the more you may feel financially pressured) to accept a settlement and move on. But, settling for less than you deserve is a mistake, and there are options your attorney can help you pursue if you need financial help while your claim is pending.
2. If You Need to Go to Court, This May Take Longer than Usual as Well
The initial shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant backlog in the South Carolina courts, and many courts are still recovering. Additionally, while many courts have adopted measures to allow for virtual hearings, access to the courts remains limited at this time, and, with the recent spike in COVID-19 infections, some South Carolina courts are further limiting their operations again. As a result, if you need to take your auto accident claim to court, you may need to be prepared to wait longer than you would under normal circumstances.
3. You Will Work with Your Attorney Remotely
While the COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately caused many businesses to close down, law firms have largely remained operational. At Lewis Law Firm, for example, we have continued to serve our clients throughout the crisis. Our lawyers are meeting with clients over the phone and via Zoom, and we are delivering documents and checks to our clients in the comfort of their own homes.
We understand that dealing with your insurance claim is stressful, and we know that you need to feel comfortable working with your attorney and making decisions about settlement. While we are operating safely, we are also operating at full capacity, and we are helping our clients make informed decisions daily.
3 Ways the COVID-19 Pandemic Should Not Affect Your Auto Accident Insurance Claim
Although you can expect the COVID-19 pandemic to impact your auto insurance claim in some ways, there are other aspects of your claim that should not be affected. For example, despite the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. You Should Still Get the Medical Treatment You Need
Hospitals have safety measures to protect their patients and healthcare providers; if you need medical treatment following an auto accident, you should not avoid seeking treatment due to concerns related to COVID-19. If you have questions or concerns, you should certainly raise them, but you should not simply avoid the hospital altogether.
Traumatic injuries from auto accidents can have long-term effects, and, with many types of injuries, prompt medical treatment can be essential to ensuring a full recovery. If you delay in seeking medical treatment, this could potentially impact your insurance claim as well—as the insurance companies may try to argue that you can no longer prove your injuries are accident-related.
2. You Should Still Get Started on Your Claim Promptly
In addition to seeking medical treatment, you should also get started on your claim promptly. This means that you should report the accident to your insurance company, and you should also schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina auto accident lawyer. Your lawyer will need time to investigate and prepare your claim; and, the sooner you get started, the less time you will have to wait for a resolution.
3. You Should Not Settle for Less than You Deserve
Finally, even if the process takes extra time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should not settle your claim for less than you deserve. Any short-term financial strain (or other concerns) can be managed while settling for too little could leave you facing long-term financial challenges. So, be prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve and do not let the insurance companies talk you into making a bad decision.
Ultimately, as an auto accident victim in South Carolina, you have the right to recover your losses, and you should not let anything compromise your claim for just compensation. At Lewis Law Firm, we are here to help during the COVID-19 pandemic; and, if you have been involved in an accident, we encourage you to contact us 24/7 for a free consultation.
Speak with a South Carolina Auto Accident Lawyer for Free
Do you need help recovering your losses after an auto accident in South Carolina? To speak with an auto accident lawyer at our Rock Hill, SC law offices in confidence, call 803-327-1103 or request a free consultation online now.