Coronavirus and Litigation
We all need to be prepared for cancelled medical appointments. As a personal injury lawyer, I am thinking about how to advise my clients. My clients’ physical therapy regimens are probably going to be suspended for weeks if not months. I will be suggesting alternative home-based therapy for my clients.
If you are currently getting physical therapy, please speak to your doctor or therapist about an appropriate home therapy routine, something to tide you over until your regular therapy appointments resume. They should be preparing to distribute home exercise brochures.
You might need to purchase medical equipment to help you with this. Do it soon to avoid delays and shortages. Watch out for price spikes and price gougers.
You may be able to get physical therapy using telecommunications. Ask your physical therapist if they are preparing to help patients remotely. They may have not even thought of this. Consider having pictures and videos taken of you while doing your therapy, using your heating pad, TENS unit, etc.
Make sure you have a sufficient supply of pain medications, enough to last for several months at least. As always, be extra careful with opioids as they are extremely addictive.
Keep a diary of your symptoms, limitations, emotions, etc. Medical reports and physical therapy notes typically record these things. With office treatment suspended, your diary will replace this documentation. Make entries on at least a weekly basis.
Expect delays with your case. The courts are shutting down. The expectation is that missed deadlines will be excused. Plan for the settlement of your case to take a bit longer. Personal injury is already a marathon in many cases. That marathon may be about to get even longer.
There is technology to help avoid delays. For example, Zoom Video Conferencing is simple and generally flawless and permits the participation of all parties.
Don’t panic, prepare. Panic does no one good. Do the best you can during this difficult time and we will get through this together.