Retaining Counsel in a Dangerous Time
You’ve been injured in an auto accident caused by a reckless driver and, to add insult to injury, a deadly global pandemic means that person-to-person contact can have lethal consequences for you or the lawyer you want to retain to handle your personal injury claim. At the time of writing this blog post and despite drastic public health measures implemented across the planet to reduce its spread, novel coronavirus COVID-19 has infected more than 8 million people worldwide, with nearly 3.5 million of those people falling under the category of “currently infected”. Closed cases to date (those with an outcome) are split approximately 90/10, with around 4.1 million people (90%) having apparently recovered from the disease and well over 400,000 people (10%) having died from it -- and the death toll continues to mount, slowing somewhat with the warmer weather before this “Wuhan flu” likely returns with a vengeance in a devastating second wave later this year. Evidently the virus, which (along with so many before it) originated in Communist China, is a brutal mass killer.
Until effective antivirals and/or a vaccine are available (and that might not be until 2022 if ever), we must make due with the new abnormal and business as unusual. So, the question is: how are you going to physically retain McCourt Law Offices to be your injury law firm in this dangerous time? The answer: very carefully. By Alberta law, all auto accidents resulting in injury must be reported to police. Accordingly, after you have a police report, have sought medical attention and have notified your insurance company about the car crash, phone 780-448-0011 to speak with Mark McCourt or one of our other experienced injury lawyers for a free initial consultation. Assuming that the accident wasn’t your fault and you got hurt, we will then have you email our firm a copy of the police report, pictures of your photo ID (driver’s licence) and Alberta Health Care card, any documentation you’ve received from your adjuster and from the other side (if they’ve been in contact with you), the names of the caregivers (eg. hospital, doctor, physio clinic) you’ve seen for your accident injuries, photos (if any) you have of your injuries, the accident scene, vehicle damage, and/or the other driver’s documents, and any other information that is relevant to your case. Our office will then review that emailed information and documentation, contact you by phone to gather further details, and then schedule an appointment for you at our office so that you can retain our firm in writing and sign authorization forms allowing us to gather evidence (such as doctor’s reports) to help build your case. Your intake appointment at our office will be scheduled for a date when you aren’t feeling symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose or sore throat, and when you haven’t had exposure in the past 30 days to someone with confirmed or possible COVID-19 or who has returned from travel. When you arrive at the office, please phone us from our firm’s parking lot and then enter the office wearing a face mask (for your own protection and ours) and practicing physical distancing (well over six feet apart). Hand sanitizer will also be available at front reception for your use on arrival and departure. Once you have retained our firm to be your legal counsel for your injury claim, we should be able to conduct update appointments by phone so that with any luck, your next physical visit to our office will be to sign a release form and pick up your settlement cheque. There is no fee until you collect your case resolution proceeds, and even then our contingent fee is just deducted from the cheque the other side’s insurance company (or in the case of an uninsured defendant, the MVA Claims Fund) sends us. So with that as a basis, please contact us and let’s get ‘er done! Thanks.