As this entry is prepared, COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus, continues its ravaging path. It has affected most every aspect of all of our lives.
First, all of us hope that you and your loved ones are safe and will remain so.
We Are Fully Functional
We want you to know that the White Plains accident attorneys at Worby Vecchio Edelman are fully functional. Our staff is working remotely, and we are doing as much as we can to move our clients’ cases to resolution, just as if we were in the office. Every member of our legal staff has full access to our systems. You can communicate with your attorney and paralegal at any time, either by e-mail, or by simply leaving a voicemail message at a particular extension. All e-mails and voicemails will receive a response.
The New York State Court System and COVID-19
The New York State Court system is open, but only for essential functions. The Governor has issued New York Executive Order 202.8, which has suspended filing deadlines from March 20 to April 19, 2020. While we are unable to execute Court filings, we are preparing our cases in anticipation of the time when the Courts will re-open. We will do all that we can to minimize the inevitable delays that will result from this crisis.
Staying in Communication and How We Are Working Now
We remain in contact with insurance companies, and we are able to negotiate settlements and send necessary documents, such as medical records, to support your claim. CMS, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has remained open, and we are able to communicate with this office on Medicare pay-back issues.
Most deposition reporting companies are offering remote deposition capability; we are dealing with this issue on a case-by-case basis.
We have been advised that Alternative Dispute Resolution companies with whom we contract to conduct mediations are able to conduct virtual mediations. We will explore any opportunity as it relates to your individual case.
Victim Compensation Fund Fully Operational During COVID-19
We are pleased to report to our Victim Compensation Fund clients that the Fund remains fully operational, and has announced that it continues to process claims, and issue payments. We are working on your VCF claims. We can communicate with witnesses to support your presence in the World Trade Center Zone during the months following September 11, and we can submit any and all supporting documents to both the Victim Compensation Fund, and the World Trade Center Health Program.
New York Child Victims Act and COVID-19
The Child Victims Act, which was signed into law in February, 2019, opened a one year “look back” period from August 2019 to August 2020 to file previously time-barred claims involving child sexual abuse. Since the Courts are not accepting new filings on any case until further notice, there is reason to believe that the one year window will be extended past August, 2020. (Our column dated August 1, 2019 stated that we did not anticipate that deadline being extended, but we also did not anticipate this current state of affairs). As of the date of this column, the August 14, 2020 deadline has not been extended; we will comment upon this issue in future columns as the need arises.
Just as the virus has affected our daily lives, it will also impact our practice going forward. There will be issues of institutional liability, especially to nursing homes, on the question of whether nursing homes took reasonable safety measures to safeguard the health and well-being of its residents. The accident attorneys at Worby Vecchio Edelman will investigate all claims that you may bring to our attention.
We Are Here For You
All of us at Worby Vecchio Edelman are doing what we can to remain positive during this challenging time. We are here for you, just as we always have been. Call us at any time; we will respond to your inquiries, and continue to handle your case in an expeditious manner.