In these unpredictable times brought about by the unique COVID-19 pandemic, your life still matters. While the various matters that concern us are experiencing upheaval, other incidents or accidents still occur and require attention. Littman and Babiarz, personal injury attorneys in Syracuse, are still serving the needs of central New York State residents who sustain a personal injury.
A frequent question we encounter and want to answer is, “How can COVID-19 impact your personal injury claim in New York?” Due to the fact that everything we viewed as normal is now in a state of flux, and no “new normal” is in sight, many wonder if personal injury claims are still allowed or even relevant. Rest assured, regardless of the current health crisis and corresponding upheaval, the United States Constitution is still valid, and you still have rights.
When you suffer a personal injury and need legal assistance to defend your rights or pursue a claim for damages, Littman and Babiarz, personal injury lawyers in Auburn, NY, are here to help. However, you should be aware that some important factors will impact your personal injury case.
New Methods of Working with Clients
Law firms like Littman and Babiarz are following the guidelines from the CDC and the State Health Department of New York, as well as the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts. These entities have issued guidelines designed to keep attorneys, clients and judicial personnel safe while working to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In working with our attorneys, you can expect the following:
- Telephone, teleconference and video conference interactions between attorneys and clients at every opportunity, in the place of face-to-face meetings.
- Where face-to-face or in-person meetings are necessary, we will practice social distancing as much as is possible, and all parties will be asked to wear a mask. All furniture and other surfaces will be sanitized before and after our meeting to protect clients and staff.
- In every case possible, all documents will be exchanged, shared, viewed, transmitted and otherwise utilized in electronic form only.
Although we will be working remotely and leveraging technology at every opportunity, both to communicate with our clients and with court personnel, you can rest assured that we are providing the same level of professional, experienced and personalized service that you have been accustoming to receiving from our firm.
What to Expect from New York State Courts
In response to the current health emergency, the New York State court system has enacted numerous measures to keep the public and court personnel safe. In the early days of the pandemic, courts throughout the state were essentially closed. Only matters of essential business that related to safety and emergencies were being handled.
As part of the phased reopening of New York State, the courts have now reopened, albeit on different time frames. For example, many counties in New York progressed quickly to Phases Two and Three while New York City remained in Phase One. Currently, all areas of New York State are in Phase Four.
This means the courts are also in Phase Four, which allows for some in-person matters that can be heard by the courts, although judges “will continue their use of virtual proceedings whenever legally permissible and logistically possible.”
While this is a positive development and a significant move toward business as usual for the courts, the previous months of delay continue to impact case filings, deadlines, trial dates and other related matters. Those wishing to file a personal injury claim may expect delays as the courts get caught up with backlogged cases and begin addressing new ones.
At least one neighboring state has begun allowing clients and attorneys to choose bench trials over jury trials in civil cases like personal injury claims. This can potentially resolve a case within hours instead of several days or weeks. New York State has yet to adopt this measure. However, because criminal jury trials are normally given precedence over civil jury trials, it may be a move New York courts adopt to preserve juries for criminal matters.
Littman and Babiarz, Personal Injury Law Firm in Auburn, NY
Littman and Babiarz, a personal injury law firm in Auburn, NY, is determined that justice in your case will not be halted. Victims and their families can still file claims and receive fair judgement. We will use all the skills, experience, resources and technology available to protect your rights and pursue your right to fair compensation for a personal injury. Call us today at 607-277-7527 to schedule your free initial consultation.