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Filing an Auto Accident Claim Amid the Pandemic

The State of California has been one of the hardest-hit states in the spread of Covid-19. Regrettably, California is also a state that experiences thousands of auto accidents each year. If you have recently been involved in an auto accident, you are likely concerned with how the pandemic will affect your case. Experiencing an auto accident that resulted in an injury amid the global pandemic can be exponentially more stressful, but being aware of the recent changes can be helpful.

California’s Statute of Limitations for Auto Accident Cases

In California, the statute of limitations for auto accidents cases is two (2) years from the date of the accident. Once the deadline to file a claim has lapsed, the injury claim will no longer be valid and obtaining compensation will no longer be possible.

As the pandemic has presented extraordinary circumstances, the courts attempt to find quick solutions for the safety of public workers and the general public. As of April, the Judicial Council approved a revision to emergency rule 9, which determines the statute of limitations for filing civil claims during the pandemic. Per emergency rule 9, the statute of limitations on civil cases were to be suspended until 90 days after the state of emergency order was lifted. Although the order is still in place, many courts have begun moving civil cases forward despite the ongoing pandemic.

The Judicial Council has now amended emergency rule 9 so that it is no longer tied to the state of emergency order. The new rule will restart the statutes of limitations on set dates, and will look to:

  • Suspend statutes of limitations from April 6th to October 1st and repose for civil causes of action that exceed 180 days.
  • Suspend statutes of limitations from April 6th to August 3rd and repose for civil causes of action that are under 180 days.

Insurance Companies Are Still Expected to Comply With the Law Amid the Global Pandemic

California insurance companies must adhere to the laws outlined under the California Insurance Code when conducting business in the state. Based on Section 790.03, insurance agencies are required to quickly begin an investigation, process a case, and pay insurance claims.

In March, the California Insurance Commissioner issued a statement for insurance companies in the state, reminding them of their commercial and legal obligations. The statement also encouraged insurance companies to:

  • Take necessary steps during the pandemic to maintain the ability to process claims and make payments; and
  • Provide required services for consumers in a reasonably timely manner.

Obtain the Legal Support of a Qualified Attorney

The global pandemic has presented a myriad of challenges, and the auto accident claim’s process was not spared. If you were involved in an auto accident and sustained significant injuries, you should expect newfound difficulties in your claim’s process. Before speaking to an insurance company, obtain the legal support of a knowledgeable attorney who will ensure your legal rights are protected.

The proficient litigators at Martinez & Schill, LLP work tirelessly to ensure their clients recover the compensation they deserve after a negligent accident caused them bodily harm. Suffering an auto accident is always a stressful and challenging matter. Suffering an auto accident during the global pandemic will only result in further confusion and stress. After a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the legal support of a qualified personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable litigator will advocate on your behalf and ensure you obtain the compensation you need to make a full recovery. Consider scheduling a no-obligation consultation with Martinez & Schill, LLP today.

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