The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has thrown many aspects of life into question, and things are still changing at a very rapid pace.
In order to help cut through some of the confusion surrounding litigation and case filings, VanDerGinst Law has put together some frequently asked questions about coronavirus and the legal system.
What’s happening with my personal injury case right now?
If you currently have a personal injury case open, know that we are still working on your case.
We continue to have staff working in our offices, as well as staff working remotely.
If you have questions about your case, please reach out to the primary attorney or paralegal working on your file.
In some instances, there may be delays in your treatment due to treatment providers limiting their care options. We will work through these problems together.
The courts are closed. Can I still file a case? When are cases able to go to trial?
The court system is widely shut down right now, which means many Illinois and Iowa courts are open for emergency cases only.
However, there is still plenty of work that can be done on your injury case.
Most personal injury cases are settled outside of court. If you have been injured, it is still a good idea to document as much as you can about your injury and seek legal guidance.
Should I settle my case instead of waiting for courts to open?
If you have fallen on hard financial times because of the pandemic, you might think a settlement may be the best way to get compensation for your injuries as soon as possible.
However, it’s never a good idea to accept lowball offers from the insurance company because you won’t get a second chance once you accept.
Make sure you have good legal representation on your side to get you a fair settlement, or to help decide if a settlement is the right choice for you.
Can I sue my employer for my contracting COVID-19?
In Illinois and Iowa, companies are required to pay for workers’ compensation insurance for injuries or illness that occurs on the job.
In most instances an employee may not sue an employer for compensation under those circumstances, other than through worker’s compensation.
But whether a direct lawsuit or worker’s compensation you will have difficulty proving that contraction of COVID-19 occurred at work. So, it is a good idea to have VanDerGinst Law on your side.
Can I file a wrongful death claim for my family member who contracted COVID-19 from the workplace?
Wrongful death claims are likely to result in the estate recovering workers’ compensation benefits instead of a traditional wrongful death negligence recovery.
As noted above, it is best to have VanDerGinst Law on your side.
Can I get workers’ compensation for getting COVID-19 at work?
In most cases you will need to prove that you contracted the virus at your workplace to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
I have a treatment plan that was put on hold. Does this affect the status of my claim?
Getting required medical treatments are a large part of maximizing your potential personal injury compensation.
If your treatment plan was put on hold, or you were asked to quarantine yourself and can’t go to your required appointments, consult your doctor for advice.
Additionally, alert your attorney so that they are aware of the situation.
I want to postpone my medical evaluation for my injury because of coronavirus concerns. Is this okay?
We understand the concern about going to a healthcare facility at times like this.
Many new telehealth options are becoming available that may qualify for medical treatment.
This could be the best of both worlds if you are still able to get treatment, and you also get to socially distance yourself from medical care facilities.
Speak with your medical care providers about options to keep your appointments while minimizing your risks.
Additionally, alert your attorney if you decide to postpone medical evaluation.
I was laid off because of coronavirus. Does this affect my existing claim?
If you have been laid off because your business is non-essential, and you have an existing workers’ compensation claim, you may be wondering how this affects your existing claim.
While your employer cannot lay you off or fire you because of the fact that you are on workers’ comp, most states will still allow them to lay you off based on broader circumstances such as financial hardship in the business, or in this case closure for being a non-essential business during the coronavirus pandemic.
Talk to your attorney to see what rights you have, and what will happen to your claim during these extenuating circumstances.
I want to contact a lawyer for a personal injury case, but I also want to practice social distancing. What should I do?
If you want to open a new personal injury case, there are many options available.
At VanDerGinst Law we can open new claims for you via phone, email, and video conferencing. We are still working diligently on behalf of clients.
If you have been injured and would like to speak to an attorney, we would be honored to help.
VanDerGinst Law has over 30 years of experience in personal injury law. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys will help guide you through this scary time and get you back on your feet.
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.