In the days shortly after March 12, 2020 the NCAA Basketball Tournament pulled the plug. This was followed by the NCAA Wrestling Tournament, the PGA, NASCAR, the NBA, Major League Baseball, all spring College sports, all live music events, and all in-person restaurants. Pretty much anything in the world came to a grinding halt from the COVID-19 virus, and subsequently all aspects of life have since been changed. One of the most fundamental and serious areas of life that has been interrupted is the Civil Justice System. Georgia’s courts have been closed by multiple Supreme Court of Georgia Orders extending up and until July 14, 2020. These measures, exercised out of abundance of caution, have and will create a massive backlog of criminal as well as civil cases in Georgia’s Judicial System. —
When Georgia’s courts re-open, criminal matters which threaten liberty will take precedence and priority. Thus, if you are pursuing a personal injury / tort claim, breach of contract, or any other civil dispute in our state’s judicial system, your delay could last for quite some time. Most county courts are unsure when and how they will institute their first jury trials and grand jury proceedings. Measures will have to be put in place to ensure the safety of those jurors and make sure that they do not come within six feet of contact from one another. Opinions on the seriousness of this virus as well as its long-term effects are varied, but one thing is for sure; obtaining civil justice against insurance companies and other corporate wrong doers will take a long time.
In a civil justice system in Georgia, where many clients of Ben F. Windham, P.C. already wait a year and a half to three years to get a trial date, the delay in newer cases could last even longer. The insurance companies who should pay the claims for the negligence of their insureds are not lost on these facts. Their offers of settlement, if any, have become unrealistically low due to the lack of threat of a trial date to hold their insured accountable. If the Georgia court system does not find a way to reopen and allow jury trials, the notion of civil justice in Georgia could be altered for decades. Delay of jury trials in to 2021 could mean a world where insurance companies which already make lowball offers will simply throw settlement demands in the garbage.
It is incumbent upon our state political leaders, most notably in Georgia’s judicial branch of government, to mandate that each county find a way to safely conduct jury trials and not to simply leave it up to the whimsical decisions of each individual county.
Ben F. Windham is involved in discussions with judicial leaders around the State of Georgia and doing everything he can, along with other colleagues, to implement a speedy return to a fully functioning judicial system. Ben F. Windham, P.C. is still aggressively conducting depositions and engaging in other civil discovery in an attempt to make insurance carriers treat their client’s claims seriously, despite the all but complete cessation of the Georgia court system for more than three months. Ben F. Windham, P.C. is hopeful for a return to normalcy for personal injury claims in the Fall of this year. Justice demands it.
About Windham Law:
Ben F. Windham P.C. personal injury attorneys serve clients throughout McDonough, Henry County, and the greater Atlanta area, including Rockdale County, Locust Grove, and Greensboro, with an array of law services. They specialize in many areas of the law in order to provide honest counsel and tenacious litigation. Their approach is hands-on and personal because they believe it’s the most powerful way to pursue any claim by being truly invested in delivering the outcome their client deserves. At Ben F. Windham P.C., expect a collaborative team with an entrepreneurial mindset determined to meet and exceed their client’s expectations every step of the way.
To learn more about Ben F. Windham P.C. Trial Attorneys, or for a free case evaluation please visit https://windhamlaw.com or call 833-236-9467.
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