How Are You Handling Clients During The COVID-19 Lockdown?
During the Covid-19 lockdown, we’re still up and running. We’re operating with little change in our effectiveness, and we’ve actually increased our efficiency in a number of ways. We are partially working from home and the office because we’re in an area where we can easily and safely do that. Therefore, our phones are manned, and we have access to all case files from wherever we are working. We’re able to not only respond to our clients’ questions and problems but to also help new clients.
A message that I would like to impart to any current or potential clients is that we have access to telemedicine consultations. If you’re injured, but can’t get in to see your doctor because of the stay-at-home restrictions, we can set up telemedicine consultations over the phone and through Skype or Zoom. Telemedicine consultations allow you to access all sorts of specialties, including orthopedics and pain management.
Through telemedicine visits doctors can help evaluate an injury claim, document that claim, make treatment and care recommendations, and use that information to prepare supportive reports and records for our clients. The process allowed injured people to safely gain access to medical care. You don’t have to sit at home and have your case suffer without medical support or without support to document your injury claim.
How Are Personal Injury Cases And Other Civil Claims Being Dealt With In These Times?
In California, including all southern California counties and jurisdictions, all civil trials and most civil matters and hearings have been continued. Trials have been continued several times in fact and as of this moment, the courts are setting Trial Setting Conferences to then reschedule trials to a hopefully more certain date in the future. Importantly, statutes of limitations and other deadlines have also been extended. In other words, the five-year statute limitations, the three-year statute of limitations, and the two-year statute of limitations have been extended. This gives people who have been injured time to adjust to this dilemma that we’re facing without the consequence of losing their case or rights. In terms of cases that are still pending, depositions are going forward. We’re doing these through Zoom and Skype.
I have had several valuable and worthwhile mediations all done on Zoom. We were able to make great headway with moving cases forward towards settlement.
As far as defense and medical exams, those have been put off. Some do proceed, however, we make sure that the examining doctor’s office has safety protocols in place and we or a special medical observer attend the exam to make sure the protocols are followed.
So, while the civil courts are backed up and will remain so for the foreseeable future, cases are settling, and since most cases, by a wide margin, settle and do not go to trial, the pandemic is therefore not preventing good cases from being worked up the property and achieving excellent results in the settlement.
Should I Wait Until The Lockdown Is Over To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?
No, it is not a good idea to wait until the lockdown is over to hire a personal injury attorney. You gain nothing by waiting, and you stand to lose quite a bit. If you’ve been injured and have questions, lawyers are available and ready to help you. In my office as well as my colleagues, we are up and running, and able to take your calls. I am regularly retained by new clients in face to face meetings online. We dos our initial interview through Skype or Zoom. We are able to spend quality time exchanging and gathering the necessary information. I send retainer agreements and authorizations online through Docusign and I can then hit the ground running to get my clients set up with doctors through telemedicine visits, contact insurance companies and take care of my clients’ needs. There is no reason to wait to retain an attorney.
In fact, waiting can be harmful because we don’t know how long before businesses, offices and courts are going to reopen. Is this stay-at-home order going to continue for the next two weeks or 30, 60, or 90 days? You want to move things forward regardless of the status of the coronavirus pandemic that we are facing.
Additional Information On COVID-19
Stay safe. Mask up. Wearing a mask is a kindness and a courtesy to protect your fellow citizens. It is a sign of respect. It is a small imposition for a greater good. Wear gloves. Wash your hands frequently. Use hand sanitizer. Avoid crowds, including elevators, and we will all get through this.
For more information on COVID-19 Lockdown In The State Of California, a personalized consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (818) 530-1770 today.
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