The Global spread of COVID-19 has presented unprecedented legal, regulatory and commercial challenges for businesses. As the COVID-19 pandemic is maturing, uncertainty is all around us and this uncertainty looks set to continue for some time. At Harper Macleod we are committed to supporting our clients through all of the challenges the pandemic presents.
Our Personal Injury and Reparation team is no different. We have adapted to the ever-changing world of COVID-19 and its challenges to ensure that our team (who are now home based) continue to support our clients making a personal injury claim.
The Progress of your claim during the pandemic
Naturally, the pandemic has affected the progression of personal injury claims. Although our offices remain closed for the protection of our staff and clients, our business continuity procedure has enabled our team to adapt and embrace new technologies which has provided for the possibility of an efficient and consistent claims handling process.
Communication between parties
COVID-19 has not been a hindrance to our commitment to ensuring regular updates and a consistent level of communication with our clients. Communication between our solicitors, insurers, medical experts, the court and our clients is now mainly by telephone or email and any exchange of documentation is now being dealt with electronically. Where possible and where appropriate we are also able to utilise Zoom/Skype for conducting meetings and medical expert assessments. Our internal framework provides the required level of security to ensure confidentiality and discretion. All of the aforementioned changes within our team have allowed for improved timescales and proficiency as claims continue to be run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
For many personal injury claims the involvement of the court is inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant implications for the court system in Scotland. The courts have adapted to the pandemic with court proceedings being conducted virtually by telephone or video conference. The use of technology has also enabled remote hearings without the need of physical presence. The courts have provided frequent updated guidance as to how business will be conducted to ensure efficiency and transparency for all involved. The courts will continue to adapt their processes to ensure delivery and for cases to heard in a timely manner.
Due to reduce staffing the courts are running more slowly, this slowdown is exacerbated by significant backlogs due to an increase case load as a result of cases resulting from the complications of the pandemic. This means the earlier you put your claim in, the sooner it is likely to be heard. A consequence of the slowing down of the court is the importance of time limits on making personal injury claims. There is a general three year time limit from the date of the accident or injury; this means any delay in making your claim could result in the clock running out. We would therefore recommend that you start your personal injury claim as soon as possible.
How to make a claim?
We remain available and committed to our clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or your loved one has suffered an accident or injury, please get in touch. Although we are working from home, we are accepting new instructions and we would be happy to deal with your enquiry.