The Impact of COVID-19 on Personal Injury Cases

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our everyday life.  Some things have been put on hold or delayed.  While we continue to navigate the difficult circumstances and delays caused by precautions in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, people are continuing to suffer injuries in car accidents, in pedestrian and bicycle accidents, due to slip-and-falls, due to defective products as well as many other accidents caused by the fault of another.

Injured parties can bring personal-injury claims to seek compensation for their injuries even during the COVID-19 outbreak. After a period of closure, the Pennsylvania courts have re-opened. As part of a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, courts, insurance entities and attorneys are practicing social distancing and conducting their work by telephone, video conferences and emails.

Tips to remember if you sustain an injury due to the fault of another

COVID-19 has changed the environment for handling personal injury claims from the scene of the accident to the courtroom.  At the injury scene, it is still essential you gather information to assist with your claim, but because of social distancing and the risk of catching the virus, this is more difficult.

Fortunately, cell phones make it possible to capture details on the camera while maintaining social distancing. If you are involved in an accident and need urgent medical attention, it is important that you do not delay seeking treatment.  It may be possible to have your injuries assessed by a medical professional through a telehealth visit.

Holding a virtual consultation by videoconference with your medical professional will allow you to obtain an injury report and a treatment plan.  However, if you have been seriously injured, it is imperative that in person medical help is sought.  Although we are living in unusual times, the basics of making a successful claim for personal injury have not changed.  You should remember the following tips:

  • Document and gather as much evidence as possible at the accident scene.

Unless you need immediate medical attention, you should still try to gather the information you will need to pursue a claim when your accident happens. If you are in a car accident and do not need immediate medical attention for your injures, use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident location and the damage to the vehicles involved. Take pictures of the other driver’s contact information and insurance details or write this information down.

If there are witnesses to the accident or people who stopped to help, have them provide you with their names and phone numbers via a text message or email.  Gathering this type of information is not just important for automobile accidents, but also when you suffer injuries from a slip or trip-and-fall, a pedestrian or bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, or due to a defective product.

  • Seek medical attention quickly.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be hesitant to go to the emergency room or seek treatment from a healthcare professional. Failing to seek treatment could have a long-term impact on your health. When you seek treatment, you should keep a list of the medical facilities and medical providers you have seen and the treatment that has being recommended. While you might have gone to an Emergency Room for an acute injury your PCP may be able to see you the same day due there being less urgent appointments any given day for a doctor’s office due to Pandemic.

  • Discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to assess the impact of your injury on your life and work.  He or she will be able to investigate all sources of potential recovery to compensate you for the injuries you have sustained.  Retaining an experienced lawyer will ensure that your case is presented in the best possible way and that you obtain full value for your claim.

  • Do not delay in pursuing your claim.

It is still important to not delay seeking legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney if you sustain an injury due to the fault of another.  Delaying a consultation with an attorney can have a detrimental effect on the outcome of your case.

The dedicated and experienced attorneys at Caroselli Beachler & Coleman are committed to helping you with your personal injury claim during these trying times.  The personal injury attorneys at Caroselli Beachler & Coleman are available conduct a virtual consultation to discuss your claim over the phone, by a video-based call or by email.  We are committed to complying with all state guidelines and taking precautionary steps to protect our clients and our staff.

COVID-19 and the restrictions that are currently in place due to this pandemic should not affect your right to claim compensation for personal injuries which may be an integral part of maintaining your financial stability during these uncertain times.  The attorneys at Caroselli Beachler & Coleman are committed to working with you to obtain a successful outcome. Contact our firm today at (866) 466-5789 or through our website contact form.

What Is a Personal Injury Journal and Why Should I Start One After a Truck Accident?

If you have been injured in a truck accident, you are going to need strong evidence to prove your case as well as the extent of your damages. You may be entitled to economic damages, such as medical treatment and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Proving just about anything related to a truck accident can be challenging because these cases can be complex and contentious. Unlike car accident cases, several different parties can be held responsible for a truck accident, and you are likely to meet resistance from the insurance companies at every turn.

One of the tools you can use to strengthen your truck accident case is a personal injury journal. Here is what you need to know about personal injury journals and how they can help your case.

What is a Personal Injury Journal?

A personal injury journal is your firsthand account of the difficulties and pain you have experienced after being involved in an accident with a commercial truck. It should accurately reflect the issues that have arisen in your life following the accident, as well as the pain and suffering you continue to endure.

Your injury journal can be typed or handwritten. The content of your journal should remain private and not shared with anyone but your accident attorney, who can help you decide what you should include to strengthen your case.

How Can a Personal Injury Journal Help Your Truck Accident Case?

Even if an accident and the resulting injuries are fresh in your mind, memories fade with time. Further, it can be difficult to convey a concept like pain and suffering without some type of evidence.

A personal injury journal is your record, in your own words, of what happened during the accident and throughout your recovery process. It is also a way to contextualize your non-economic damages like emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

What to Include in Your Personal Injury Journal

There are many areas you should cover in your personal injury journal that may help with your truck accident case. The contents of your journal should include:

Details About Your Accident

One of the first entries you should make is your recollection of the truck accident. The details you might want to mention include:

  • The condition of the roads and weather
  • Any hazards that remember being present
  • The time of day the accident occurred
  • The location where the accident occurred
  • The names of any witnesses and their contact information
  • The responsible party’s actions during the crash
  • The agency and name of any responding officers

 

Pain and Discomfort You Experience

Following your accident, you should document the pain and discomfort you experience daily. This should include a description of the pain, a level (rate it from 1 to 10), the frequency of the pain, and its location. Avoid the temptation to exaggerate your pain levels, but instead, keep a running journal of what you are experiencing.

How Your Life Has Been Impacted

One of the most important things you can document regularly is how your life has been affected by the accident and your injuries. This can help you prove non-economic damages. Some examples are listing the ways your injuries have:

  • Prevented you from caring for loved ones;
  • Made everyday tasks difficult or impossible;
  • Limited your mobility;
  • Prevented you from attending events;
  • Stopped you from enjoying and participating in pastimes and hobbies; and
  • Created a burden for your loved ones.

Time You Missed from Work

If you have missed time from work, you should note this in your journal as well as list the amount of your lost wages.

Appointments and Travel Related to Your Injury

When you are seriously injured, attending medical appointments can seem like a new full-time job. To claim fair compensation for your travel expenses and burden, make sure you list every appointment you attend and document the distance it takes to get there.

The Type of Medical Care You Receive

Insurance companies can request medical records, but you should keep independent documentation of the medical treatment you receive after a truck accident. In your journal, list every appointment, including the date and the type of treatment you received. You can also make some notes about how you’ve responded to treatment. Finally, list any co-payments our out-of-pocket costs that you are asked to pay for prescriptions, medical equipment, or appointments.

How Often Should You Write in Your Personal Injury Journal?

Immediately following the accident, your injuries are likely the most severe, and you are probably dealing with a lot of pain and suffering. During this time, you might wish to make frequent journal entries, as often as once per day. As time progresses, it may not be necessary to post this frequently, but you should still write an entry at least once per week. Your attorney can give you additional guidance on a recommended schedule.

Why Your Journal May Not Stay Private

It’s important to note that, unlike your teenage diary or another type of personal journal, your personal injury journal may not stay private. Since the document contains your recollection of the accident and other relevant medical details, it could be used as evidence by either side if your case goes to trial.

This fact shouldn’t prevent you from keeping a journal. But, you should always have experienced legal counsel in your corner that will protect your interests.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Speak with a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, keeping a personal injury journal is just one of the things you should do. Others include getting the medical care you need and speaking with an experienced truck accident attorney.

At Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, we have over two decades of experience helping the victims of serious accidents throughout the Pittsburgh area. Our skilled legal team will evaluate your situation and advise you of the legal options available to recover maximum compensation.

Contact our office today at 412-391-9860, toll-free at 866-466-5789, or message us online to schedule a free case evaluation.