The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the global economy including the US. The economic disruption is widespread. Airlines are not flying, hotels are empty, people are not traveling, restaurants and bars have been closed, all of this is causing millions of people to be out of work. Large businesses and small have had to find new ways to cope and manage. Only businesses that are deemed essential are allowed to carry on in a normal, albeit limited manner.
In large cities like Houston this means that employees in corporate offices have to work remotely from home. They can no longer have face-to-face meetings in conference rooms. Tele-conferencing and social distancing have become the norm.
How does COVID-19 Impact Clients of Personal Injury Law Firms?
Attorneys who handle personal injury cases can continue to serve their clients with almost no disruption. Although your attorney may not be physically in their office, they can connect to all of their computer networks from home and access all client files. If you have questions about your case you can simply reach out to your attorney and call the main office number or send an email.
What Should Clients do if they have a Personal Injury Case?
First of all, you should seek medical attention by going to a local hospital emergency room or an urgent care facility. If you haven’t discussed your case with a personal injury lawyer you should contact one. Most attorneys offer a free consultation and free advice over the phone.
If you already had a personal injury claim in progress before the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure that you keep in touch with your doctors and attend your follow up appointments. If you don’t have flu-like symptoms you can still visit your doctor’s office. Be sure to check with them as their hours may have changed. Most if not all medical providers who treat personal injuries are essential services which means their clinics are open. These medical providers typically include:
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Pain Management Specialists
- MRI, Radiology & Diagnostics
- Chiropractors & Physical Therapists
Can my Attorney Settle my Claim during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Yes, in many instances your attorney can settle your case. Insurance adjusters are still working during the pandemic. They too may be working remotely from their homes and your attorney is in touch with them. If your doctors have released you from treatment and if your attorney has all of the medical records then your case has likely moved on to the negotiation and settlement phase. At this point in the process your attorney will submit a demand to the insurance company and negotiate with either an adjuster or a lawyer representing the insurance company.
If the insurance company makes an offer to settle your case your attorney will let you know. A settlement can only be accepted if you agree. In order to ensure you get a fair settlement and the maximum compensation for your injuries, your attorney can ask the various medical providers to reduce the amount they receive for the costs of your treatment. Make sure you ask your attorney about this as it can make a big difference in the amount of money you receive.
If I Need to Sign Paperwork What Can I Do?
When a case settles clients will have to sign a release and a settlement statement. There are many ways to accomplish this. Electronic signature is the most popular these days. You will receive an email from your attorney with the release and settlement statement attached. Once you review the documents you simply select an electronic signature or write one in on your computer, mobile device or phone and send it back to your attorney.
If you don’t have access to the internet your attorney can use local hot-shot courier services to send the documents directly to you for review and signature, or a representative from the firm can deliver them. With any of these methods you can quickly and efficiently deal with the most important part of your case, the settlement and you can get paid.
Michael P. Fleming has been a personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas for over 30 years. He says that his firm has been prepared for this type of event for years. “The attorneys at https://flemingattorneys.com have had access to their clients’ information 24/7 for years. We use a number of technologies so in the event an attorney is out of the office, on vacation or even outside of the country they can effectively communicate with our clients and the insurance companies. Our primary objective is to serve our clients and settle their claims. A pandemic like COVID-19 is not going to have any impact on our firm”.