The Impact of COVID-19 for our Brain Injury Legal Claims
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do everything. Nearly overnight, the world has had to adopt significant changes in the way we live our lives, both personally and professionally. Understandably, this may cause concern about the impact on legal claims – and how access to justice will continue in these difficult and uncertain times.
Brain Injury Solicitors
We have a dedicated group of brain injury solicitors at Bolt Burdon Kemp. We deal with all types of legal claims, including those which have arisen from a personal injury (such as a car crash or accident at work) or medical negligence. We have consistently been accredited by a number of external providers as being leaders in our field and delivering top client service.
We understand the immense pressure faced by those who have suffered a brain injury. Whilst no two injuries are the same, in most cases the consequences of brain damage can be devastating and life-altering. It can change everything from your relationships with loved ones, to your ability to take care of yourself, travel and work. For years, our focus has been on providing access to justice for those harmed from brain injury. To provide support to their loved ones, whilst fighting to obtain compensation for those injured – to enable them to get back on their feet.
With the guidance and restrictions on our lives evolving day by day, we’d like to update our clients on how their legal cases are continuing, albeit with some adaptations. Whilst we do not expect a substantial change to the points covered in this article, we would encourage you to contact us about the specifics of your case – as this may vary depending on the case and our guidance is subject to change with updated government guidelines.
Accessing our Solicitors
If you have concerns about how you sustained a brain injury, we would urge you to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in this field. Legal claims for compensation are complex and very strict time limits apply. It’s imperative that you are advised by a solicitor who understands the intricacies of both the legal system and is best placed to get you the support you need, including neuro-rehabilitation and independent financial advice.
It is so important that you are able to find and easily get in touch with the right solicitor for you. Often the legal process can take years and it’s vital that you feel comfortable and reassured by the legal team working for you.
In terms of accessing our solicitors, it really is business as usual for us at Bolt Burdon Kemp.
All our brain injury solicitors and paralegals are currently working from home and can be accessed as usual. If you know the person you need to contact, you’ll be able to find their email address, office telephone number and mobile phone number on our website. Alternatively, you can contact our reception on 020 7288 4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and they’ll be able to put you through to the right person.
Our offices are based in Islington, London. Before COVID-19, we welcomed clients into our offices or travelled to them whenever this was needed. We work on cases from all over England and Wales and have always been happy to accommodate whatever our clients need – whether this means seeing them at our offices, at their homes or in other places, like at hospital or a care home. Whilst we cannot currently meet face to face, our solicitors have been checking in with clients and holding legal conferences via video-conferencing. We understand that sometimes, you need to see someone to discuss a sensitive matter with them and we’re able to set up video-calls for any of our clients.
In reality, and even before COVID-19, so much of our work these days is easily done by telephone and email. Because we understand that life is busy for everyone, our solicitors work flexibly. This means that they can be accessed outside of normal working hours, in the evenings or at weekends. The government guidelines on COVID-19 have not changed anything in respect of how you can contact our firm or our solicitors and we are ready to help as much as we can – like always.
Business as Usual
We specialise in high value brain injury cases. The government guidelines have made us more inventive in progressing matters, but so far – we have been well prepared to deal with all restrictions and limitations which have arisen from COVID-19.
In fact, since 2003, our firm has had a policy of flexible working in place. This has allowed our solicitors to easily and regularly work from home whenever they needed. It means that our staff already had access to all the necessary IT equipment, including iPhones and laptops, necessary to allow them to complete their tasks. Our robust software programs allow us to complete the same work that we do in the office from the safety of our homes. There have been very few complications which we have not been able to resolve, thanks to the systems we already had in place.
We are a paperless firm, meaning that all our work is completed electronically. This not only helps the environment, but also makes it easy for documents to be created, accessed and shared, amongst colleagues and clients. This has made working from home seamless for our solicitors. We have instant access to all documents, including those which continue to be sent to our firm by post.
To minimise any delays or issues for our client’s cases, our solicitors have identified creative solutions to stay ahead of the curve. This has worked well, and we’ve succeeded in progressing our existing cases and advising new clients on their prospective claims. Some examples of this include:
- We continue to take on new legal claims where a brain injury has been suffered due to personal injury or medical negligence. Our solicitors are happy to offer free advice to clients, or their families, by telephone, email or video-call.
- We have been working with our clients to identify the best form of communication for them. We appreciate that going to the Post Office is more difficult than normal, and that not all our clients have access to the internet, a printer or a scanner. We have been working closely with our clients to advise them on alternative methods of communication which best suit them, to prevent any delays in their case. Our aim is to minimise the inconvenience to our clients whilst also meeting legal deadlines. Whether it be through electronic signature or sending our clients stamped and addressed envelopes, we’ve ensured that they’re able to reach us easily and safely.
- We have been liaising with Defendants and the Court to ensure that where necessary, legal deadlines are varied to accommodate for restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
We continue to strive to ensure all deadlines are met, however in cases where this is inevitable, we take action quickly to safeguard our client’s best interests;
- We continue to put our client’s needs first, especially with interim payments of damages.
We understand that COVID-19 is likely to have affected many of our clients’ financial situations. For cases where liability is admitted, we prioritise ensuring that our clients have access to the funds they need as soon as possible. We have been working with Defendants and the Court to seek these payments without delay;
- We have been arranging telephone and/or video-assessments for our clients, so they can still be examined by experts. In order to win a legal claim, independent expert evidence is crucial. Where possible, we want to ensure that this evidence is still being collated without delays. We have been able to arrange video-assessments for a number of clients, which has not required them to pay any costs or download any complicated programs;
- We have been settling legal claims.
It is uncommon for brain injury legal claims to go to a trial hearing. Most cases either settle out of court or are abandoned due to lack of evidence. For cases which settle out of court, this often takes place at settlement meetings – usually done in person.
Settling a claim can mean the world to a client and their family. It’s not just the end of the legal process and access to compensation to help put their lives back together, but it’s the completion of a thorough investigation into the negligence that occurred in their case.
We understand how much it means to clients and their families for their claims to settle without delay. As such, our solicitors at Bolt Burdon Kemp have already successfully settled a number of claims virtually. With clients involved in every step of the process, by video or telephone, COVID-19 hasn’t prevented us from achieving life-changing results for them and their families.
You may also find it helpful to read these comments from our Managing Partner, Jonathan Wheeler: https://www.boltburdonkemp.co.uk/news-blogs/uncategorized/covid-19-a-message-to-all-our-clients/
Ipek Tugcu is an associate solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp specialising in Adult Brain Injury claims. If you feel you may have a claim or are enquiring on behalf of a loved one, contact Ipek free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4849 or at email@example.com. Alternatively, complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Adult Brain Injury team will contact you. Find out more about the Adult Brain Injury team.