What can I do to move my case along now that courts are reopening?
During the months of March and April, most courthouses in California closed to all but critical matters and trials were suspended. Some cases continued to be heard through telephonic court appearances, while other hearings were delayed until the courts reopened. Now, as most states are slowly reopening parts of the economy, courts are following suit. California’s court administrator has issued a guide for courts to follow to reopen safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys discuss the guidelines for court reopenings and what you can do if you have a pending personal injury case at this time.
Guidelines for Reopening California Courts
The Judicial Council released a 75 page handbook for reopening written by a team of 23 judges and clerks representing courts across the state. Some of the guidelines include installing plexiglass shields in courtrooms, using floor markings to keep people spaced, installing hand sanitizing stations, and requiring anyone who enters the court to wear a mask. The committee has allowed for $5 million in funds to reimburse the courts for implementing these measures.
Courts in several counties have started to resume or released plans to resume criminal trials, with civil trials to resume at a later date. Due to the continued delay of civil trials, the statute of limitations has been tolled until October 1. In Los Angeles, judges are estimating that civil trials will start back in September or October, pending the national state of the coronavirus pandemic.
What You Can Do Right Now
If you have a pending personal injury case, rest assured that your rights will not be compromised due to the continued suspension of civil trials. The statute of limitations will not run as you await the complete reopening of the court system. The best thing you can do right now as a plaintiff is to reach out to your personal injury lawyer and provide them with any updates as to your health. If you need medical care, first ask your physician whether you should schedule in-person appointments or use telemedicine.
Plaintiffs with concerns or questions about their case should reach out to their personal injury lawyer and stay on top of any medical needs or requests for documents. Keep calm and do not forget self-care during this stressful time.