Business as usual in the PI department during lockdown

Partner Iona Smith

Partner Iona Smith outlines how our Personal Injury department have adapted to deal with Covid-19.

The personal injury (PI) sector has been characterised in the past few months by Claimants and Defendants’ Insurers working proactively together to prevent any disruption being caused to ongoing cases despite the challenges presented by Covid-19.

All parties have been determined to ensure that access to justice continues to be the overriding priority. Working flexibly from home has provided an opportunity for lawyers to develop new and innovative ways of working, which have often speeded up settlement of cases through Skype and Zoom conferences being held remotely, and with parties having more accessibility including during evenings and at weekends.

Medical experts have reached agreements to examine Claimants remotely, again using video technology to provide full assessments, and after initial teething problems, the Courts have done their very best to continue business as normal. The Judiciary have been committed to ensuring that the Court system runs smoothly during these unprecedented times. Court hearings are now taking place remotely and indeed on the day the Country entered lockdown, one of the High Court Masters sent detailed instructions as to how her hearings were going to be conducted forthwith. Remote hearings have often served to focus the parties’ attention to ensure only the most important details are put before the Court, which has streamlined the process and often brought cases to a swifter conclusion.

The Gaby Hardwicke PI Department has negotiated many cases successfully while the team was working from home, including conducting joint settlement meetings and conferences with expert witnesses using video technology.

Although the pandemic has brought challenges to litigants, the Court, opponents and medical professionals have all worked collaboratively to ensure that these challenges have not become barriers to justice.

At Gaby Hardwicke it is now business as usual with our PI lawyers back at their desks, and our clients able to rest assured that they will continue to receive the bespoke service we pride ourselves on.

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