Suffering a life-changing injury can be devastating for the individual involved and those around them. Many situations, where the victim suffered their injury as result of somebody else’s negligence, will often result in them making a personal injury claim. This can be to cover the victim’s loss of earnings, compensate for the injury suffered and ensure they get the care they need in the future.
But with the coronavirus pandemic still affecting all of our lives there were fears that personal injury claims may not progress. However, a recent announcement by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) revealed that law firms, insurers and key suppliers have agreed to continue progressing claims despite the health crisis. Importantly, this means that there is nothing to stop people from bringing a new personal injury claim or an existing claim from progressing.
The agreement between ACSO and the Association of British Insurers allows for temporary measures to ensure claims are still possible despite social distancing measures.
It allows for personal injury medical examinations, which are usually carried out in person, to be undertaken via video. Some claims for rehabilitation, both physiotherapy and psychotherapy, can be carried out remotely.
Medco – which oversees whiplash reporting – already allows video consultations, but this agreement has extended this to other types of personal injury case.
While this is only a temporary measure, it does mean that personal injury claims can continue to progress while social distancing measures are in place.
So, what should you do if you want to bring a personal injury claim? All of the rules that are in place for personal injury claims remain the same and there is nothing to stop people from making a claim. One of the most important things to remember is that there is a three-year time limit to making a claim. People are allowed to bring claims for personal injuries suffered before the pandemic.
While it may not be possible to meet legal representatives in person during the health crisis, lawyers are still working and can be talked to over the phone or virtually. All documentation can be shared electronically to keep the touching of physical paperwork to a minimum. Claims can still go to court during the pandemic through ‘virtual’ courts and joint settlement meetings, where settlements are agreed, are still taking place.
While coronavirus has affected the way we all live it has not stopped the wheels of justice from turning. As a result, there are no barriers from individuals making new personal injury claims or from existing ongoing claims from being progressed or resolved.