What does the COVID-19 shutdown mean for my personal injury case?

Maine personal injury lawyer

On March 31, 2020, Maine Governor Janet Mills issued a statewide stay-at-home order to help prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, residents were urged to stay home and several businesses were required to close their doors.

While the pandemic has temporarily changed daily life in Maine, some people must still go out to attend work and buy groceries. That means injuries from traffic collisions, slip and falls, workplace injuries, and other incidents are still likely to happen.

Furthermore, those who currently have pending or open personal injury cases must still get legal representation. If you have any questions about your claim or are in need of legal help, don't hesitate to consult with the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein.

Will my case go to trial at this time?

Social distancing doesn't just apply to residents and many businesses. It also applies to the state and federal courts in Maine. The rules of personal injury litigation have temporarily changed.  Here is what to expect:

  • Limited hearings and postponed trials: Many courthouses will remain open during the statewide shutdown. There will be limits on courthouse access and certain cases until May 1, 2020. State courts will only schedule physical hearings for criminal cases, abuse and harassment protection cases, child protection and guardianship cases and mental health cases. All other cases will be suspended for the time being.
  • Pending cases will continue, with modifications: Any pending cases will continue during this time. Cases will be handled remotely through an audio-video connection for clients, attorneys, and witnesses. Mediation and settlement conferences will also follow the same guidelines.
  • You can still file a personal injury claim: If you were injured due to a car accident, slip and fall, workplace accident, medical malpractice, or other cause of negligence, you can still file a personal injury claim with your attorney. Despite your case not going to trial promptly, this still gives your attorney the opportunity to get the process in motion. Please note that personal injury statutes of limitations are not affected by the statewide shutdown. That means that you must still file your claim within six years from the date of your accident.

How can a lawyer help me during this shutdown?

Whether you were injured in an accident or have a pending case, it's critical that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein. We can answer any questions you have and help you explore your legal options.

In order to protect you and our staff, we are offering free, remote case evaluations via Skype, Facetime, or Zoom. You can also consult with us over the phone by calling us toll-free at 1-800-225-5563. Contact us online to get started.

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