COVID-19 and Personal Injury Law in Canada
The spread of COVID-19 has altered every facet of Canadian life, including the practices of the lawyers in our lawyer directory and the well-being of the clients they represent. As the measures to contain the virus have lingered, clients are wondering how they will be affected – will a prolonged shutdown restrict access to justice? Will court cases proceed on schedule? Will my settlement or benefits be delivered as promised?
Lawyers are Still Hard at Work
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way many people, including lawyers, do business in Canada. With non-essential businesses closing their doors, most lawyers are working from home. That means your case is still progressing, albeit with delays. (More on that below).
Most lawyers, including many in our legal directory, are accepting new clients amid the shutdown. Gone are the days when face-to-face, in-person consultations were necessary to hire legal representation. Now, information can be easily shared over email and consultations can proceed over the phone or via videoconferencing applications like Zoom.
What this all means is that your personal injury lawyer is, in all likelihood, continuing to work on your claim and accessible for questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out for updates.
Although most lawyers are technically on the job, delays are inevitable in certain cases. It may be far more difficult to access medical records, for example, than it was at the beginning of the year, and it will be nearly impossible to schedule in-person medical examinations. The entire healthcare community is under enormous strain as it battles to contain the fallout from the virus. As a result, legal matters have slipped down the list of priorities.
You can also expect delays in the legal system. Across the country, most courts are shuttered to encourage physical distancing. Electronic alternatives – remote hearings, email filings, etc. – are in place in some jurisdictions, but it will take time to adapt. Proceedings for which there are currently no electronic alternatives, such as jury trials, are on hold indefinitely.
Rehab and Medical Care
Many personal injury lawyers take pride in helping seriously injured clients access medical and rehabilitative care. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 means that most chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and other medical professionals are indefinitely closed for business. Consult with your lawyer if you have questions about alternative treatments or the impact of these closures on your benefits payments.
If you’ve been injured in an accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, browse our legal directory for personal injury lawyers in your area. Though most law offices are currently closed, lawyers are continuing to work and accept new clients from home offices and remote locations. Reach out to an experienced lawyer today to schedule a consultation