While Portland is making progress in efforts to deal with the coronavirus and flatten the curve of cases, issues related to the pandemic continue to impact the area and likely will for months to come. For victims of car accidents who are entitled to compensation in a claim, it is important to be aware of the ways the situation surrounding COVID-19 could impact your case. The following are four common issues you may have to contend with:
1. At-Fault Drivers More Likely To Flee The Scene
By now, everyone is aware of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing. As a result of the pandemic and stay home orders, many Portland residents have limited going out in public other than for supply runs. Unfortunately, car accidents can still occur during these trips. When they do, fear of coming into contact with others may cause drivers involved to flee the scene.
Anytime a hit and run happens, it is important to notify the police immediately, make note of exactly where and when the accident occurred, and get contact information for witnesses at the scene. Our Portland car accident attorneys can help you locate the driver by speaking with these witnesses, reviewing nearby surveillance tapes, and interviewing local mechanics at shops where they may have taken their car for repairs.
2. Insurance Policies More Likely To Have Lapsed
According to Policy Genius, being off work, drastic reductions in driving, and concerns about money have caused many drivers to reduce the amount of car insurance coverage they have or allow policies to lapse completely. When an accident does happen, obtaining compensation from these drivers can prove more challenging. Rather than an insurance claim, you will likely have to file a civil lawsuit against them.
Even if an at-fault driver does have an insurance policy in place, negotiating insurance settlements may take longer due to the pandemic. If your injuries were severe, the amount of coverage they have may not come close to reimbursing you for your losses.
3. Delays In Filing Car Accident Lawsuits
Filing a personal injury lawsuit through the Multnomah County Court is often the best course of action in car accident cases and can entitle you to additional types of compensation not available through insurers. However, courts are only providing essential services during the pandemic. While we can investigate your case and file your claim, expect delays in hearings or any final judgments in your case.
4. Enforcing Judgments In Your Car Accident Case
If you have a court judgment in a car accident claim, job losses can make it more challenging to obtain payment. We can help ensure you get the money you are owed through enforcement actions such as wage garnishment, property liens, and seizure of certain benefits or funds in bank accounts.
Let Our Portland Car Accident Attorneys Assist You
The Johnston Law Firm P.C. has the experience and legal expertise needed to resolve your car accident case. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online today.