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

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Personal Injury Lawyers need to show some humanity & humility to get through COVID lockdowns

One of the most depressing things about living through COVID is that we don’t know when it’s going to end (if ever). The number one question which my clients, staff and lawyers want to know is when and how or even will we ever get back to our normal lives?

I can’t answer that question. None of the experts can.

It’s that uncertainty which drives us all mad on the inside, despite putting our best foot forward; along with our best face for the social media hives to which we belong.

I exchange many pleasantries over the phone with fellow lawyers, insurance adjusters, clients and prospective clients. We are accustomed to saying standard, pre-programmed responses during these exchanges part out of common courtesy, part out of custom.

These exchanges go something like this:

Lawyer: Hello. Its (insert name of personal injury lawyer here) calling from (insert name of personal injury law firm here). How are you?

Insurance Adjuster: I’m doing well. How are you?

Lawyer: I’m fine thanks for asking. I’m calling you about the (insert name of personal injury client here) file…..

And thus the conversation flows regarding the specifics of the case.

There’s nothing wrong with the preambles to these conversations.

But who are we kidding.

The personal injury lawyer making the call is likely working out of his/her home office in their sweat pants (which may sound nice to some), but hasn’t gone to the gym, gone to a park, shook a hand, or left their dwelling without a mask or a sense of serious anxiety in about a month.

The insurance adjuster on the other end of the call is in the same boat as the personal injury lawyer. The insurance adjuster is likely in their home office wearing sweat pants which may or may not be the same sweat pants they have been wearing for 1.5 weeks; hasn’t had a hair cut, gone to a park, gone to a restaurant, gone out for a drink, or left their dwelling without the same face mask in about a month either.

What may help us all get through “this” is being honest with each other because let’s face it; we’re all in the same boat. From coast to coast, continent to continent we are all struggling with the situation.

I don’t know a single industry aside from those in the videoconference, hand sanitizer and stock short seller industry whom are thriving.

The workers in the hospitality industry: screwed.

The workers in the catering and restaurant industry: screwed.

The workers in the manufacturing industry: screwed.

The workers in the personal services industry: screwed.

The workers in financial services and banking: screwed.

The workers in the retail industry: screwed.

The workers in the real estate and lending industry: screwed.

The workers in the travel, tourism and vacation industry: screwed.

Some people can work from home. Others simply cannot. Can you manufacture a car from home? Can you give a massage virtually? Can you clean a hotel room when there are no guests and you can’t even report in to work because the hotel is closed? Can you earn a living driving a taxi when nobody can or wants to go anywhere? Can you conduct an in home occupational therapy assessment without ever going inside the person’s home? Can you provide attendant care or personal support worker services without ever coming in contact with a client whom you are seeking to serve? Can you supply food for the restaurant industry when no restaurants are open?

We will get through this. Tough times don’t last; but tough people do.

But let’s not kid ourselves in our interactions because these are not normal times. It can be argued that the last time the world saw a global pandemic on this scale was back in 1918 for the Spanish Flu. And it’s because these are not normal times that we all need to pull together and cut the BS pleasantries to show a bit of humanity and humility. It would go a long way.

The conversations between lawyers, adjusters etc. ought go something like this:

Lawyer: Hello. Its (insert name of personal injury lawyer here) calling from (insert name of personal injury law firm here). How are you?

Insurance Adjuster: Meh…. My kids are driving me nuts and I can’t get anything done. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I can’t wait to get back in to the office when this is all said and done because this is killing me.

Lawyer: You’re feeling meh?!?!? I’m feeling meh too!!!!! My kids are going stir crazy in my house and this weather isn’t helping at all. I can’t take a step in my house without tripping over a toy or getting stuck on some piece of squished banana left over from last night or this morning. My house is a total wreck and I just want to get back to the office like you.

Big smiles and laughs follow from both phones.

It’s at that point in time the lawyer is smiling over the phone, and so is the insurance adjuster. It’s that connection that will help the conversation go smoothly and will help both parties get through these hard times. Not only that, but that common connection and amazing ice breaker will likely pave the way towards the parties meeting at “yes” to get the results both sides may want to achieve.

From a personal injury lawyer perspective, not every call with an insurance adjuster will result in a file getting settled. But a good call whereby some element of rapport is established can certainly help down the road to getting that file, and other files with that adjuster settled. It’s all about making a human connection rather than treating the call as transactional or binary.

Because in that exchange whereby you are showing that you are vulnerable and feeling the burden of living in a COVID lockdown; you are showing that you’re human; just like your counterpart on the other end of the call. It’s that humanity which brings us together, makes us stronger and helps us get through tough times both inside of our remote offices, and outside. We’re all in this together show some humanity and start acting like it.



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