COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

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Observations from a personal injury lawyer during COVID-19

As a personal injury lawyer, I don’t profess to be a medical expert. I certainly don’t have all of the answers to your medical questions, tech questions or political questions. As a personal injury lawyer, I like to stay in my lane of personal injury law and insurance related questions. When people have a problem in these spheres, they tend to reach out to me and my law firm Goldfinger Injury Lawyers.

Once upon a time; in order to get your opinion out in to the world, it needed to be broadcast in the traditional news media, or to your friends verbally.

Social media has given us all platforms to speak our own versions of the truth and spread our own beliefs to thousands in one simple click. Those beliefs may be fact, or fiction. But they are your truths (or mistruths) nonetheless. There is no fact checking or editor to vet your comments before they are broadcast in to the world. All you have to do is simply click a button and your opinions are broadcast to the world.

The global pandemic we are all dealing with in our own ways has reinforced the fact that we are all in this together. And being “together” means that we all, or the majority has to be on the same page when it comes to dealing with the pandemic.

What has been highlighted by COVID is that so few of us are on the same page. The amount of information, misinformation and outright lies circulating on the internet is rather upsetting.

But it’s not just the internet where we see this departure of shared values and beliefs. We see it everyday.

Here are a few of my observations from daily life:

  • Young male under 30 at the bank on the cell phone. Has a mask dangling on one ear, but not covering his face. The fact that he had a mask available to him and on one ear but for whatever reason chose not to wear it while inside of a bank was very troubling. Did he forget he was wearing a mask? Was his other ear hurting such that he could only wear the mask dangling from one ear? Did he suspect that he was invisible to COVID while inside of the bank? Was he just wearing the mask on his ear to comply with local face covering bylaws, but not actually covering his face up with it?
  • Young male under 40 at the grocery store. Refuses to follow directional arrows on the floor to leave a line up facing the counter area thereby brushing against 2 socially distanced patrons waiting patiently in line. Young man wearing mask over both ears, but mask was not over his face. The mask was covering his neck. Was this man a neck breather?

What is a person to do? Call the police? Call the City and report a bi-law infraction? I suppose you can contact the COVID-19 Non-Compliance Hotline and file a complaint.

In both of these real life situations, people got really irritated and a verbal confrontation which nearly escalated to physical violence ensued.

This is not uncommon. What I have seen as a personal injury lawyer is people taking the law in to their own hands. Verbal confrontations, shoving matches. Tempers flare leading to physical violence.

We all need to take a breath and calm down. No good will come from physical violence, or yelling. Cooler heads need to prevail; even if someone is in the wrong; there’s a better way of handling the situation.

People contact my law firm to find out if they’re entitled to compensation as a result of these physical assaults.

For starters, the first call is to 911 for either police or an ambulance so that you can get the medical treatment you need in the event you’re seriously injured. Take photos of your injuries and have a friend or loved one get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the assault.linkedin-2-300x300

The main issue arising from assault claims may not be establishing fault, causation, ┬áinjuries or damages. If someone was assaulted and they’ve sustained personal injury, chances are they will have a successful case.

The big issue for these types of claim is collecting. How are you going to collect a judgment from a Defendant who has no assets and no money?

In the event that the at fault party does have assets, what are the chances that those assets are either tangible or in his/her personal name? In the example of a Defendant homeowner, if s/he has a mortgage on their home, you would need to tie the judgment to the title of their home and wait for the sale. But if the bank has a mortgage on the property, you have to collect after the balance of the mortgage has been satisfied. In the event of multiple mortgages, you are to wait in line until all of the creditors are paid off. This can prove to be a successful strategy, but you will have to wait until the property is sold to collect on your judgment in the event that the Defendant cannot satisfy the judgment immediately.

Let’s keep in mind that we are living in a time of grand misinformation along with unnecessary politicization of issues in an effort to divide instead of unite. If we all work together, and use some common sense, we will have a better chance of getting out on the other side faster and healthier which will help everyone.

Over the pandemic, I have listened to a lot of news and podcasts. The most refreshing podcast I’ve listened to over the past four months on the topic of COVID-19 is called “Solving Healthcare with Dr. Kwadwo Kyermanteng“. It’s a Canadian podcast which is great for starters. The edition in particular featured Dr. Isaac Bogoch and Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti. Doctors talking with fellow doctors about real live medical issues which impact us most. It was smart talk from experts with no political or hidden agenda which was refreshing. It was nice listening to non-partisan doctors who were out to inform the public in simple to understand terms what we’re all going through during COVID-19; what to expect on the horizon, and what steps we can take to get to the other side unscathed.

 

 

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