Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Coronavirus, Personal Injury, and Insurance Claims in Long Island During the COVID-19 Crisis

At TonaLaw, we are managing the current ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis just like you are. In order to comply with local, state, and federal guidelines, we have full remote operations with multiple channels of communications.

We are still working on your case, and we are still taking new clients. 

There may be some delays in your ongoing case given: public facility closures, business adjustments, and a high volume of inquiries. But at the same time, many case activities can be conducted online, and we hope to seek resolution even with the current unavailability of jury trials and some court services.

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If you have recently been injured or have an ongoing injury case for which you have questions, our Long Island personal injury lawyers are available to take your questions. Call us today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online, and we can provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

We know you have questions about your personal injury case or a potential case and how it might play out during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. To help you adjust your expectations and know what path lies ahead, you can look through the following COVID-19 personal injury FAQs.

What Effect Will the Virus Have on Personal Injury & Auto Accident Cases in New York?

Currently, all major insurance companies remain open for business and continue to conduct activities while engaging in social distancing-compliant operations. Because so few people are driving right now, the volume of car accident bodily injury liability (BIL) claims is down. At the same time, insurers are having to redirect their personnel resources to other departments, especially coverage for business losses.

If you are filing a personal injury and/or auto accident claim in New York right now, you can expect minimal delays, but prepare to be flexible. Your claim may be handled between several adjusters, and you may see a delayed response during key moments in the timeline.

You can work with a personal injury lawyer in Long Island to expedite your claim, track its progress closely, and seek the maximum amount of compensation available for all of your injury losses.

I Got Hurt in a Car Accident and Don’t Want to Go to the Hospital, What Should I Do?

The answer to this question is quite tricky. Given the sensitivity of each individual case, we can only provide generalized information. The following information should not be interpreted as health advice, nor legal advice for your specific case.

That said, the response we heard from one care provider was to “seek the minimal level of care possible for the nature of your injuries.”

You should always seek medical attention within 48 hours of your car accident injury. Without a comprehensive examination and diagnosis, no insurance company will honor your claim for damages.

Normally, typical advice would be to visit the ER any time you think you have been injured in a car accident. But, as you may know, ERs in New York are currently flooded with COVID-19 cases. Going to the ER without major trauma or a known serious injury means risking exposure to COVID-19, on top of the stresses it will place on an already overburdened healthcare system.

DO seek emergency medical attention if you have sustained any trauma, have an obvious bone fracture, have sustained a head injury, or otherwise think you have an injury that absolutely requires emergency treatment. If EMS personnel has been dispatched, consent to an exam, and let them transport you if they recommend it.

If you want to “play it safe” and avoid the ER, still seek medical attention as soon as possible. You can visit an urgent care clinic, your primary care physician, or another provider in your area. Call ahead to tell them about the purpose of your visit. Notify them if you have possible COVID-19 symptoms.

Urgent care clinics can perform x-rays and other services, shortening your wait time and reducing your risk of COVID-19 exposure (although the risk is never zero). 

If possible, and your injuries may not require a physical exam, you can at the very least arrange a telemedicine appointment with a local care provider.

In sum: err on the side of caution if you think you are even potentially seriously hurt, but rely on alternative forms of health care provisions if you need a diagnosis and wish to avoid the ER.

Do I Need to Receive Medical Treatment to File an Injury Claim?

YES. Recovery for damages is supposed to pay for the costs of all “reasonable and necessary” medical treatment. You should not only seek out a comprehensive diagnosis, but you should also receive all treatments recommended by the care provider during your initial appointment.

Take all prescribed medications, sign up for necessary therapy appointments, and follow up with your care provider on a regular basis. 

See the answer above for more advice on seeking care while avoiding the congested hospital system. You can likely attend follow-up appointments online through provided telemedicine portals or available online conferencing systems.

DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR OWN CARE as you recover, otherwise, this may jeopardize your recovery and your ability to recover 100% of your injury-related losses.

Will My Premiums Go Up As a Result of COVID-19 And/Or Filing an Injury Claim?

Any time you file an insurance claim with your own insurance provider, your premiums could go up. This includes claims filed through your personal injury protection (PIP) provider as well as your health insurance provider.

Filing a claim with a third-party bodily liability injury (BIL) insurance provider, such as against an at-fault driver after they cause an accident, should not affect your own rates, under normal circumstances.

The above statements apply during normal circumstances, but with the ongoing epidemic, things are anything but normal.

Healthcare providers and others closely watching the insurance industry are anticipating premium increases in the next year because of the extreme burden of costs placed upon the system at large.

Furthermore, many individuals facing financial hardship may be unable to pay their premiums, and when that happens, the cost of providing insurance rises for everyone.

Overall, there is no way to anticipate the exact effect ongoing current events will have on insurance costs, but the safe bet is that they will rise.

What Do I Do If I Had a Court Appointment Scheduled?

If you have any obligation to visit a courthouse or file the necessary paperwork with a public administration office of any sort, assume you cannot visit in person

The vast majority of services have moved online for the time being. This may include the prospect of conducting hearings via online conferencing software, but never assume this is the case.

Some courthouses remain partially open to the public for very specific essential services. If at all possible, do not visit in-person. Contact the clerk of the courts or an administrator in the department that concerns you for instructions on what to do next.

Alternatively, contact a Long Island personal injury lawyer to handle your case for you. Your attorney can keep in contact with all the needed local authorities to help you resolve your case, ensure necessary deadlines are met, and otherwise expedite your claim.

For more information on your specific court system, visit one of the following:

What Happens If I Had a Jury Trial Scheduled or I Was Supposed to Be a Juror?

All new jury trials in New York have been suspended until further notice.

If you are currently a juror involved in an ongoing municipal or state trial or grand jury panel, you may likely to still be required to attend. You can contact your local Commissioner of Jurors Office for more information.

If you are a personal injury claimant whose case was supposed to go to trial, your trial date will be moved back by several months, at least. There is still the possibility that your case can be resolved outside of court through a settlement agreement or mediation. Contact your personal injury attorney for more details on your specific case’s revised timeline.

Will the High Volume of COVID-19-Related Claims Affect My Ability to Receive Compensation?

Insurers are spending large amounts of money right now covering ongoing losses and COVID-19 related claims. As such, their bodily injury liability departments may have a strong incentive to fight harder against claims, deny coverage for certain losses, or fight allegations of liability.

If you are filing a personal injury claim in the next year or so, be prepared to fight harder than ever to recover as close to 100% of your claimed damages as possible. You may benefit from the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Long Island, who can help you push back against common claim denial strategies to the fullest extent of the law.

What Do I Do If I’ve Been Recently Injured or Have Recently Filed a Claim?

Although many public services have been temporarily shut down or indefinitely postponed, other businesses are still humming along, primarily through remote means.

TonaLaw is available to take your case, and we can provide all of our normal services through remote means. If you have questions or are interested in hiring an experienced Long Island personal injury lawyer, contact us today and let us know the best way to accommodate you.

We can handle your case 100% remotely, minimizing your risk of exposure to COVID-19 while still helping you fight for the maximum amount of compensation available.

Can I File for Workers’ Compensation If I Got Injured Working From Home Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis? 

Unfortunately, answering this question without knowing the specific details of your policy is impossible.

Generally speaking, here are a few factors that can help you understand what to expect.

Firstly, workers’ compensation policies are supposed to cover the costs of any injury arising during “the scope of employment.” If you are working from home, you are, in many senses, technically within the “scope of employment” during the time of your injury.

But, as with any policy, there are potential exclusions and exceptions.

If, for instance, you were not ordered to work from home and are doing so voluntarily, it’s possible workers’ comp may not want to pay for your injury costs. Some policies may attempt to deny coverage for work-from-home situations, period.

There is also the possibility that the nature of your injury will be scrutinized, considering you (in theory) have control over your work environment at your home. If, for example, your injury occurred because you tripped over an errant dog barreling through the house, the insurance company might deny or defend the claim and seek to avoid covering the situation.

TonaLaw can help you read the language of your policy closely and apply relevant state laws, federal regulations, and past case outcomes to give your case the best possible chance of successful recovery. We fight against insurers who want to deny your claim for whatever reason.

In the event that your workers’ compensation is extremely unlikely to cover your particular injury, we can examine whether other liable parties may be involved. Possible avenues include third-party car insurance, coverage for product liability, and insurance from other potentially at-fault parties.

What Happens If I Get Sick With COVID-19 (Or Other Illnesses) While Recovering from a Prior Injury?

There is every chance in the world that any liability insurer will treat the development of COVID-19 as not related to your initial injury. They will argue that, given the outbreak, the sickness did not occur in relation to the negligence that initially caused it. Therefore, the insurer will attempt to avoid paying for treatment costs specifically related to COVID-19 or other illnesses.

This risk means that you must track every penny of healthcare spending closely. You may need to audit costs to separate injury treatment from the costs of treating your separate, allegedly unrelated illness. You must also continue to seek follow-up treatment for your injury to avoid the possibility that insurers will reduce or deny coverage because you allegedly worsened your own outcome.

Insurance claims are going to be complex, to put things mildly, so the services of an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney may be needed. Hiring a lawyer means you have someone who can review the language of your policy, fight for the full amount of coverage possible, and help you separate covered and uncovered costs in the event that the insurer refuses to provide reasonable coverage for COVID-related treatment expenses.

Let TonaLaw Answer Your Other Pressing Questions

The questions listed above are, likely, the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dealing with the current uncertainty. We know that you may be scared, confused, or frustrated by the lack of obvious resources available to help you cover the costs of your injury or illness.

TonaLaw can provide you with an experienced, highly knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Long Island to answer your questions and help you discover the path to move forward with your claim.

Call 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online, and we will schedule you for a 100% free, no-obligation case review to answer your questions, discuss your legal options, and hopefully clear up some of the uncertainty that currently weighs heavily on your head.

If we take your injury case, we provide services on a contingency basis — meaning we don’t get paid unless you do, so there’s no risk to getting answers to your questions, seeking assistance, or benefitting from our resources to fight back against insurers. Don’t let your questions linger, call today!

What Our Clients Are Saying

Excellent5.0 Based on 381 reviews from review us onJennifer CaceresJennifer Caceres ★★★★★ I highly recommend using tonalaw. Lauren and Jada are amazing. Any questions or concerns I had they answered. I am happy I choose tonalaw .Response from the ownerThank you so much for your review Jennifer! We are so glad to hear that you were pleased with our responsiveness and thoroughness in addressing your questions and concerns. Your feedback is invaluable to us, and we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible legal representation. Thank you again for your kind words. We are honored to have you as a client. Carlos UmanaCarlos Umana ★★★★★ Excelente atención buena comunicación contestan mis preguntas con sinceridadResponse from the ownerThank you so much for your review Carlos! Your feedback is invaluable to us, and we will continue to strive to provide you and all of our customers with the outstanding service you deserve. Yanira Del ValleYanira Del Valle ★★★★★ Mr. Tona is such a wonderful human and attorney. So helpful, without a second thought, he shares his knowledge and experience. He helps makes this Plaintiff community a better one. Thank you!!!Response from the ownerThank you Yanira! It was so great meeting you. Marvin SortoMarvin Sorto ★★★★★ TonaLaw is a very reputable firm. Ana is such a great asset to the firm. She is also bilingual with many years of experienceResponse from the ownerThank you for your kind words Marvin! gary gundersengary gundersen ★★★★★ I’ve been to tona law several times already and I’ve had the pleasure to deal with Ana both time and she was amazing. Made sure all paperwork was in order and is super thorough with everything. Highly recommendedResponse from the ownerThank you so much for taking the time to share your positive experience with us at Tona Law. We are so glad to hear that you were pleased with the services provided by Ana. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal representation, and we are always striving to exceed expectations. Jennifer PorterJennifer Porter ★★★★★ Tom Tona puts so much emphasis and effort into developing a fantastic law firm, delivering excellent results for their clients and also staying at the forefront of law firm management skills. I am super impressed by my conversation and interaction with Tom and am happy to recommend him!Response from the ownerJennifer, thank you so much for this wonderful review. We are delighted to hear that you were impressed with your conversation and interaction with Tom. We strive to provide a positive and supportive experience for all of our clients, and we are so glad to hear you had such a positive interaction with Mr. Tona. Thank you again for your kind words. Janet SowinskiJanet Sowinski ★★★★★ Lauren, one of the paralegals at Tona Law is very knowledgeable, compassionate and very professional. She genuinely cares for her clients and is always willing to go the extra mile to help. Having known her for several years, i can confidently recommend both Lauren and Tona Law to anyone seeking great assistance.Carmen SandovalCarmen Sandoval ★★★★★ Quiero darles las gracias por haberme representado en mi caso, felizmente estos abogados lograron ganar ni caso, y estoy muy satisfecha por su gran trabajo, hablan español y la señorita Ana es muy atenta y cordial y amable con sus clientes, muchisinas gracias x sus servicios ademas de ser rapidos, nos ayudan mucho especialmente a las personas qué sólo hablamos español, les recomiendo este servicio de abogados muy honestos. Muchas gracias👌😘Miguel MenaMiguel Mena ★★★★★ Ana is extremely knowledgeable and a great asset to your firm! Definitely will be coming back.Sandie RivasSandie Rivas ★★★★★ Ana is amazing! Working with her was extremely enjoyable. She is a great asset to Tonalaw and always eager to help!Darwin RomeroDarwin Romero ★★★★★ Ana was an absolute pleasure. She was incredibly knowledgeable and thoughtful throughout the entire process. Highly recommend!Emma SortoEmma Sorto ★★★★★ Ana is a wonderful personal. She is very talented and very hardworking. Best thing is that she is bilingual! Always willing to help anyone who is in need of a hand! You are in great hands at Tona Law!nicole garcianicole garcia ★★★★★ Couldn’t recommend Lauren more!!! I’ve known Lauren for years, she is a dedicated, hard worker and is so professional when it comes to her job. She really cares about her clients and doing the best for them.Dolceprincipessa xoDolceprincipessa xo ★★★★★ I highly recommend Will Ramos as a lawyer. He is a true professional. He explained my options with me and was very accessible & kept me updated! I also had the pleasure of working with Jayden. She was great as well. They assisted with my case and helped me tremendously! Highly recommend :)yessenia lopez ramosyessenia lopez ramos ★★★★★ I have know Attorney Will Ramos for many years. He is very detail oriented, a great advocate, and an empathetic individual.I have referred a few clients during their time of need over to Will and the friendly staff at Tona Law. He is willing to go above and beyond for others.CARLOS RODRIGUEZCARLOS RODRIGUEZ ★★★★★ I have known Will Ramos for 15 plus years and can attest to his character in placing the needs for others above his own. He is an asset to any organization and a team player with positive attitude.Jessica MalaveJessica Malave ★★★★★ I’ve known attorney Will Ramos for 16 years he always places the needs of others above his own. He is a caring man and super understanding and has a big heart.Bianca RamosBianca Ramos ★★★★★ Attorney Will Ramos is awesome the law firm is lucky to have someone like him part of their team. He genuinely cares for others and is always willing to lend a helping hand.Response from the ownerBianca, thank you for leaving a wonderful review for our firm. We are lucky to have Will Ramos as part of our team! Arianna RamosArianna Ramos ★★★★★ Attorney Will Ramos is nothing short of dedicated and hard working. Each case he works on demonstrates his passion for law and his care for his clients.Response from the ownerThank you for your review, Arianna! Will Ramos has been a wonderful asset to our team. JenneferJennefer ★★★★★ I've had the pleasure of knowing Lauren for quite a while now, and I must say, her dedication to her clients is truly remarkable. She takes immense pride in her work as a professional she seamlessly balances her role at Tona Law, where she's involved in legal matters. Having seen her commitment and skill firsthand, I can confidently recommend both Lauren and Tona Law to anyone seeking top-notch assistance.Celine Aubry-DumandCeline Aubry-Dumand ★★★★★ I had a great experience working with TonaLaw.The team was really friendly and helpful throughout the entire process.Response from the ownerCeline, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review for our firm. We are so grateful we were able to help you and provide you with a great experience. Thank you! Adam OmallyAdam Omally ★★★★★ I have known Lauren one of the paralegals at Tona law for many years and she is dedicated to her profession and helping her clients. Wonderful person.Alexandra DevineAlexandra Devine ★★★★★ Lauren at TonaLaw was extremely helpful! She was so nice and professional. I highly recommend asking for her!Margaret CaschettaMargaret Caschetta ★★★★★ I have known Lauren for a long time and she’s always been dedicated to her job! Excellent at anything she’s ever done.NICOLE GUASTONICOLE GUASTO ★★★★★ Lauren’s great- reliable empathetic the whole package - years of knowing her I wouldn’t ask for anyone elsejs_loader