The coronavirus is sweeping the nation. South Carolina has reported a total of over 1,000 cases in 42 of 46 of the state’s counties. As a result, the governor is ordering non-essential businesses to close. Courts are also being ordered to make changes due to the lockdown allowing only emergency cases to be settled while the virus rages on.
A personal injury case is not considered an emergency. Yet victims that suffer from personal injuries experience many setbacks. They may be unable to work or even carry out the most basic functions. They may have medical expenses that continue to add up and they may also be dealing with lost wages and emotional pain and suffering.
The fact the courts are closing means there will be a further delay in victims getting the compensation they are looking for and the closure they deserve. At this point, they may be wondering what they can do to keep their cases active.
Unfortunately, the court closures mean that cases can not move forward to trial. However, there are things you can do to keep your case alive. Read on to find out more.
What Can I Do to Move My Case Along While Courts are Shut Down?
There are several ways you can work with your lawyer to keep your case active during the lockdown. Here are a few suggestions.
- Communicate: Keep communicating with your lawyer. Ask him or her relevant questions and make sure they are continuing to meet with their teams regarding your case.
- Arbitrations and Mediations: These processes require bringing a third impartial party in to help disputing parties find a legal solution to their problems. Arbitrations and mediations can be done in private offices in small group meetings and they can also be done online via video conferencing.
- Depositions: Depositions are witness testimonies that are given outside of the courtroom and used later during a trial. These can also be conducted in small groups or remotely.
- Discovery Process: The discovery process involves submitting materials, exchanging discovery materials and making motions to the court seeking relief. Your lawyer can continue with the discovery process while court are closed.
- E-Filing: Fortunately, courts are still available for e-filing. Lawyers can continue submitting paperwork during the lockdown to get your case closer to a settlement.
What if My Lawyer Isn’t Able to Represent Me Remotely?
In this age of technology, most law offices will have access to the technology that is required to keep your case active through remote means. Lawyers that already run on a mostly remote/virtual system will provide you with a seamless transition throughout this process.
However, if your lawyer is unable to access the technology that is necessary to keep your case active, or if you are experiencing too many hiccups due to an awkward transition process, you might consider hiring a new lawyer. Fortunately, this is perfectly legal. Also, because courts are shut down, it should result in minimal disruption to your case.
Switching a lawyer should not result in any additional legal fees either. Your fee agreement with your lawyer should cover one third of your recovery fee. If you decide to switch firms, your lawyer will get the one third recovery fee for the work they have done. The remainder of the fee will go to your new lawyer. Therefore, you will end up paying the same legal fees.
Finding the Right Lawyer to Represent You
If you find that your Columbia, SC. lawyer is not doing all they can to represent you during the shutdown, and you decide to look for a replacement, you will want a team with a winning reputation, affordable fees and the technology that can help your case remain active. The Jeffcoat Firm is highly recommended.
The Jeffcoat firm has years of experience dealing with personal injury cases. They take a caring approach and are dedicated to getting the results their clients are looking for. They have state of the art equipment that ensures a transition from an in-person to a virtual and paperless platform will be as seamless as possible.
The coronavirus has brought a major disruption to the world as we know it and the court system is no exception. The Jeffcoat Firm will keep your case on track so that you will be in good shape for getting a settlement quickly when courts are back in business. Contact them for the best possible representation in your personal injury case.