In late May, we reported on how the Maryland courts have continued to move through their phased reopening plan. The good news is during Phase V, the courts have resumed full operations (with some social distancing and public health safety measures still in place), including jury trials — many of which had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The not-so-great news is despite the Maryland courts’ efforts to get back to business as usual (which can move at a glacial pace), insurance claims continue to be backlogged. This can be a source of great frustration for Marylanders with auto accident injury claims. Being injured due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness is bad enough. Waiting for insurance claims to be processed and badly needed compensation payments to be made just adds insult to injury.
This is one more reason why we urge anyone with a motor vehicle accident claim to consult with an experienced Maryland injury attorney who knows how to deal with the insurance companies. The current backlog of insurance claims is due to a number of factors….
Why Md. Auto Accident Insurance Claims Are Still Backed Up
COVID-19 restrictions strained many types of businesses, including insurance companies. Though insurance companies were deemed “essential businesses” in Maryland — as were law firms like ours — they still felt the negative effects of the pandemic. Like many businesses, they were required to practice social distancing, limit human contact, and work remotely in some cases. Add workers and their family members getting sick, causing staffing shortages, and this all adds up to limited business capacity. Insurance adjusters who traditionally come out in person to evaluate auto accident claims were also affected by the pandemic, as were related businesses such as auto body and auto repair shops.
In the best of times, we always recommend Maryland car accident injury victims call a lawyer early, as the insurance companies operate on their own timeline. And paying victims compensation can be a painfully slow process without a pandemic mucking things up. And in Baltimore, our mail is still running weeks late. So if you’re on the fence about doing something about your auto accident … do it sooner than later. As you’re going to face delays.
This is not to knock all big insurance companies. Some insurance companies have really stepped up during the pandemic and taken their societal obligations seriously. They have been reasonable and they have paid their claims promptly, as if the COVID-19 situation didn’t exist. However, other big companies have been dragging their feet on everything, trying to profit from the delays. Some have been slow, making low offers, and putting out questionable (if not ridiculous) legal arguments. We’ve seen a range of corporate behaviors. Like with any product, it pays to shop around and check out the culture of the company with whom you’re going to entrust your business. This situation has really brought that front and center for me.
The bottom line is, as we’ve always said… If you’re injured in a motor vehicle crash in Maryland, please don’t wait to consult an experienced Maryland accident injury lawyer. Here at the Law Offices of Butschky & Butschky, we know how to navigate the courts and work with the insurance companies to get our clients what they deserve, in the best and worst of times.
Related Maryland Injury Attorney Article:
Maryland Courts: COVID-19 Response: Information for the Public
Maryland Courts website, updated July 1, 2021
AARP Answers: Your Insurance Coverage and the Coronavirus
AARP website, April 22, 2021
Insurance Makes ‘Essential Business’ List for States Restricting Commerce Due to Virus
Insurance Journal, March 24, 2020