The coronavirus pandemic has swept the country, causing entire states to close down as people are ordered to stay in their homes to contain the spread of the virus. COVID-19 has impacted the lives of all of us, but perhaps most significantly those in New York, where the virus has hit the hardest. While other parts of the nation are slowly reopening, New York remains closed due to the continuing high rate of COVID-19 patients. The virus has had an unprecedented impact on the local court systems, which has left some people confused and concerned about their legal rights during this time. Our NYC personal injury lawyer explains court closures and what it means for you below.
All Except Emergency Filings are Prohibited, Statutes of Limitations Suspended
On March 16, 2020, as the novel coronavirus started its spread in New York and around the country, the New York State Courts announced that all non-essential functions would be postponed until further notice. Essential functions were consolidated and heard at limited courts. The court system further announced that all court proceedings would move to videoconferencing as of April 6, 2020. Additionally, the courts prohibited all but emergency filings.
To protect the legal rights of the injured and others during this pandemic, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order suspending all statutes of limitations and filing deadlines. Accordingly, anyone who is injured or had been injured and was awaiting filing suit will have more time to file. Your deadline to file is essentially on pause and your legal rights will not be negatively impacted during this time. If you have a pending personal injury claim, your court hearings will likely be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date or moved to videoconferencing.
You will want to stay in touch with your personal injury lawyer during this time or contact an attorney if you are newly injured. Keep on top of your medical needs through telemedicine, if necessary, or in-person treatment when recommended by your physician. Stay healthy and safe during this trying time and contact us through phone or email should you need assistance.