What initially was thought to be a virus similar to the influenza one, managed to turn into a global pandemic that changed everything that people were familiar with. From social distancing and imposed lockdowns, to online education and working from home, the world is transforming in an attempt to cope with the novel virus and its implications. With all the changes happening around us, it is no wonder that many people are confused about how to act. This is especially true for all the legal proceedings that are happening during these times.
Given the rapidity with which the virus is spreading and all the changes that are being made to help contain and combat this virus, there is no definite answer about how you should act regarding legal proceedings during the pandemic. Nonetheless, the information presented in this article aims to shed some light on this matter and to highlight some potential approaches and actions that can be taken during these times.
Teleconferences and Videoconferences
One of the first measures that are meant to help with legal proceedings is the shift towards the digital sphere and the online. With this being said, most state courts are encouraging or even requiring teleconferences as well as videoconferences instead of hearings. This measure appeared as a way to help with social distancing and the need to flatten the curve.
Restricting the Entrance
Another measure that was taken as a continuation of the first is restricting the entrance within the perimeter of the courthouse. This means that the access of the public within the courthouse is prohibited. This measure aims to protect both the citizens and workers within the courthouse from any physical contact that might help spread the virus.
Another measure that was taken to help fight the virus is granting extensions for many court deadlines, including the deadlines to pay any fines or fees that you might have.
Another measure meant to combat the virus that appeared as a result of a common effort taken by the majority of the state courts during the pandemic was to generally suspend in-person proceedings.
Restricting Jury Trials
The next action that was taken was to restrict or even to end jury trials.
Changes are happening daily, and state courts from all over the country have to manage the health as well as the safety of the public. To help people stay informed about any changes that might appear, the NCSC (National Center for State Courts) has put together a list of tools such as chats, newsletters, webinars, and so on that contain all the information that is up to date.
Finally, while thinking about suing for an accident injury during this time might not seem like the best idea, do not be disheartened. Court states are well aware of their importance and will do their best in trying to assist you with your concern. Do not hesitate to get in contact with a local lawyer that can help you with your claim.