One of the reasons we always warn clients not to wait until the last minute to call our office is because of the statutes of limitations. This is basically the law that tells you how long you have to file your legal claim in your home state. Every state has their own statute and they’re all different. Regardless of where you live, however, if you miss the deadline imposed by the statute, your case will be dismissed, and you won’t be able to refile. One question people are going to have is whether or not the courts will extend the statutes of limitations because of COVID-19.
We do know that Louisiana, along with many other states, have implemented certain orders protecting plaintiffs from the statute of limitations. For example, in early March, the courts in Louisiana implemented a couple of proclamations that tolled the statute for a few weeks. We’ll talk about these in detail a bit later on. However, there’s no guarantee that they’ll do this forever. For people who were already close to their statute period prior to the pandemic, they could find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
Even personal injury lawyers in Lake Charles aren’t sure what will happen. This is the first time the legal system has ever experienced anything like this. It’s the first time the modern world has ever experienced any interruption of this sort. Ideally, the courts will be realistic and accept that people cannot just pick up where they left off. But there’s no guarantee. This is why it’s important that you do what you can now to protect your legal claim. One of the things you can do is call our office and see if you can set up a virtual consultation.
Will Louisiana Courts Extend the Statutes of Limitations?
With so many people worried about that status of their civil lawsuits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is some reassuring news. In early March, when we first realized that the country would be going into a shut-down state, the courts in Louisiana had extended most in-person appointments and filing deadlines. Now that the government has learned that the pandemic hasn’t really lessened, the courts issued a second order. According to an order signed on April 22, 2020, the following filing extensions have been ordered:
- Any filing that was initially due any time between March 12, 2020 and May 15, 2020 has been extended until Monday, May 18, 2020
- The order also states that, if this extension is not helpful, parties can file a motion requesting an extension and it may be granted
It’s also important to keep in mind that, once May 15, 2020 passes, the courts may very well issue a third order that grants further extensions. The good news is that your Lake Charles injury lawyer is well aware of these orders and will be checking for any updates. The courts are aware of what this pandemic is doing to litigants all over the country. It appears they are doing their best to accommodate parties.
Just because these extensions and filing deadlines have been adjusted, do not wait. It is in your best interest to call and talk to our office right away. Many claims can be filed online or through the mail. It’s better to get your case filed sooner rather than later. This way, you aren’t stuck behind hundreds or thousands of other people when the courts do resume a normal schedule.
Call and Talk to Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Lake Charles Sooner Rather than Later
If you’ve been putting off talking to a Lake Charles injury attorney because of the Coronavirus, you don’t want to wait much longer. All of the industries in the country are slowly starting to open back up. The courts have already started holding virtual hearings and conferences. And, while the Courts have decided to extend the statutes of limitations so far, we don’t know how long they’ll do that for. If you only have a few weeks or months to get your claim filed, do it now.
Call our office and talk to one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We can work to schedule a virtual initial consultation. And if we’re already handling your case, we can certainly continue to communicate by phone, email and skype. Don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic ruin your chances at getting the compensation you deserve. Call today and see how we can help. And remember – the initial consultation is absolutely free and you don’t pay our office a dime until you settle or resolve your case.