JURY TRIALS ON HOLD, NOT LADY LIBERTY, INDIANA INJURY LAWYER, EXPLAINS
“Lady Liberty is taking a backseat to the Coronavirus,” observes Jesse Wells of Fox 59 News, referring to the signs informing people that most courts at Indianapolis’ City County Building are closed for now, and that anyone who has a hearing scheduled is advised to check on the court’s MyCase website or call the courts directly before showing up.
But, clever as the quip (about Lady Liberty taking a back seat) may be, as longtime personal injury attorneys in Indiana, we feel it important to correct the false impression it might create. While jury trials have in fact been put on hold, Lady Liberty is certainly not on vacation. Here’s why not:
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, only four to five percent of all personal injury cases in the United States ever go to trial. The rest are settled out of court! Why is that so? Simply put, impatience. The process of investigating and pursuing a personal injury case (the process called “discovery”) is a very long and tedious one. Witnesses need to be found and then “deposed” in out-of-court, yet under-oath interviews. Medical and insurance records must be found and studied. It is common for the preparation for those few cases that do go to trial to take two years.
For all those reasons, it is crucial that the law firm you choose to represent you is equipped to handle the Coronavirus situation while still moving forward with your case.
Although physical courtrooms may be closed, using today’s computer technology, arbitrations and mediations and witness interviews can all continue to happen. Options that we are exploring at Ramey & Hailey include videoconferencing and remote digital document signing. Injured clients are often able to teleconference with their physicians and therapists, we’re finding.
One possible – and highly significant – result of the distancing required by the pandemic may actually turn out to be a “positive”, by increasing the potential amount of personal injury settlements. Disruption in the care patients are able to receive may result in them being able to make larger claims. It may be later discovered that the economic damages to the claimant may have actually increased because of his or her inability to go to regular physical or occupational therapy appointments. Certainly mental anguish may have increased due to the delay in care!
At Ramey & Hailey, the message we feel is most important to convey is this:
While there is the potential for delays caused by the Coronavirus pandemic to negatively affect personal injury cases, the biggest threat to the success of any case is delay in getting started. We can handle your case remotely. Remember – Lady Liberty takes no vacations!