While we are all in the middle of a pandemic, with its various stages of lockdown, it might not seem to be the right time, or even perhaps the right thing, to make a personal injury claim. However, there are reasons why it is not generally a good idea to delay making an injury claim, and also there are good reasons why you should not feel that it is not the right thing to do during this time.
Personal injury lawyers classed as ‘essential workers’
During the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen many of our human and legal rights challenged to support the greater good. We are prevented from going on holiday, mixing with our friends or even leaving our homes, except for essential reasons.
However, none of these restrictions apply to your right to obtain legal help when you have suffered in some way. Police stations and courts remain open, as do solicitors and insurance companies. In fact, persons essential to the working and operation of the judicial system are considered essential workers.
Preventing additional financial distress during these difficult times
There are good reasons for this, and if you have been injured and cannot work, for example, it might be that any delay in recovering your lost earnings could lead to financial stress or even loss of your home. The inability for you to obtain compensation for damage to your vehicle might mean you can’t go to work or provide support to vulnerable family members. Sometimes these things just can’t be delayed.
Personal injury lawyers can now manage your claim remotely
As a result, the court and the government-run ‘injury clams portal’ remains fully operational, and during this time, we can still submit and progress your claim for you in the usual manner, click to view more on the best ways to progress. Of course, we now work in a way that respects the need to fight and beat the virus, for example, using virtual meetings and email. The insurance companies that deal with the vast majority of claims are fully open, with their claims handlers often working from home.
The system is different but robust and fully functioning. There is no ethical reason to feel now is not the time to put your claim forward.
Delaying a personal injury claim may result in loss of evidence
There is another reason why injured persons should not delay making a claim, and that is, in a word, ‘evidence.’ Almost immediately after an accident, the ability to collect supportive evidence gets harder and harder. Witnesses disappear into the ether, and memories quickly fade. CCTV evidence is typically overwritten each month, so the video evidence you might need, to prove your accident happened in the way you say it did can soon be lost forever. Therefore, it is vital that evidence is secured as early as possible after an accident to give the injured person the best chance of success. By making a claim soon after an accident, it actually makes it easier for all parties concerned to establish exactly what happened and often allows for the defendant’s insurance company to make an early admission of liability and, importantly and an interim payment in respect of loss of earnings or other losses that are causing financial hardship.
There is an old legal maxim, ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ by which lawyers and judiciary understand the importance of progressing legal matters without undue hesitation.
If you have any questions or concerns about making a personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our senior personal injury lawyer at our Northwich office, Dominic Moss. We offer a free initial no-obligation case review.