With most Americans under stay-at-home orders, including residents of Santa Fe, the prospect of filing a personal injury claim can seem particularly daunting. We know you likely have many questions. For example, should I still plan to leave my house to meet with a Santa Fe personal injury lawyer about my case? Will a jury be able to hear my case so that I can be awarded damages? Is it safe to seek a medical assessment, or am I at risk of exposure to the coronavirus?
At Slate Stern Law, we know that these questions, and many others, are on your mind. We want to assure you that it is possible to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim despite the pandemic, and we can get started on your case today. In the meantime, we want to provide answers to some of the questions you may have about filing a personal lawsuit in the time of COVID-19.
Can I Still Meet with a Lawyer About My Personal Injury Case?
Yes, you can still meet with an attorney. While the New Mexico stay-at-home order instructs New Mexico residents to stay at home except for emergencies or for other essential reasons, it is certainly still possible to get started on your claim with a personal injury attorney in Santa Fe. You can “meet” with your attorney virtually, meaning that you will not have to leave your home. We can discuss options for meeting virtually, or discussing your case over the telephone. You do not need to worry about breaking the stay-at-home order to work with an attorney.
Will a Jury Still be Able to Hear My Personal Injury Case?
New Mexico courts are still open for business, but certain types of cases have been postponed or suspended until a later date. Jury trials in all civil cases have been suspended until May 29. It is possible that the date could be extended further, but this does not mean that you cannot get started on your case. Teleconferencing is possible, as is electronic filing within the New Mexico court system. In many personal injury claims involving auto accidents, the claims process will begin with an auto insurance claim. If you can get a reasonable settlement from the insurance company, you will not need to worry about a jury trial.
If you already had a date set to begin a jury trial for a personal injury case in New Mexico, we can discuss how the suspension may impact your case. You should keep in mind, however, that cases will be heard, even if they are delayed.
Should I Accept the Low Offer From the Insurance Company If I Need the Money?
Insurance companies may try to take advantage of New Mexico residents who have lost their jobs or have been furloughed due to the pandemic. Do not make the mistake of accepting an unfair offer.
Do I Still Need to See a Doctor for a Medical Evaluation?
It is extremely important to obtain a medical evaluation after an injury. While you may have concerns about exposure to the coronavirus in a healthcare facility, it is essential to be seen by a doctor who can assess your injuries. You should contact your healthcare provider immediately after an accident to learn about safe ways to receive a medical evaluation.