Solicitors have always been figures of justice when it comes to UK law. Although we usually talk about specific legal claims on our blog, we thought it was important to take a moment to reflect on the difficulties encountered in the present due to Covid-19. The Corona Virus has changed the face of society completely and humanity has had to adapt in order to get through it safely. Unless you are Samuel Pepys and are lucky enough to have an isolated tower to observe the effects of the disease from a safe distance, you most likely have been forced to take precautions in order to continue living a normal life. That’s why it is essential for the UK public to know that the justice system is still here to protect you.
Not only have a number of courts re-opened but solicitors have been working hard remotely to help their clients through this difficult time. Although many different public facilities have opened up, you may still be feeling too nervous to use them. Perhaps this is due to fear of crowding or maybe to protect someone vulnerable in your household. This is why Gowing Law has tried to help as many people as possible through remote communication. We want to help you with your cases as much as you want compensation. Not even Covid-19 can get in the way of our values.
The figure of the lawyer is even more important during this difficult time. They can keep you updated about any changes made to the legal system and help you focus on the things that really matter, like your family, friends and personal health.
The Test of Covid-19 on Solicitors
As the UK lockdown eases, you may start to see more and more businesses re-open their doors. However, this should not mean that we can forget about all of the changes that Covid-19 has brought to our society as a whole.
In terms of legal matters, Covid-19 has caused a backlog of cases that need to be seen to when the court system re-opens. That’s why if you have a compensation claim, it’s more essential than ever that you contact a lawyer to start to discuss your plans to take it to court. You may have 2-3 years to make a claim, but the longer you wait, the more likely that it’s going to take even longer to get an outcome for your case.
Covid-19 has forced all professional lawyers to become even more flexible with their communications and legal expectations. According to the lawyer monthly:
“Every sector has managed to find a way to keep the cogs turning more remotely, without unnecessary face-to-face contact. Even the legal sector, famously known for sticking to its traditional guns, has welcomed the use of video conferencing for important court cases, with lawyers at home still working to keep their clients happy during this uncertain time.”
This difficult time period has proven that legal work can still be completed even if contact is not allowed. Lawyers will still fight to win justice for the clients no matter the circumstances, especially for a lawyer that works for Gowing Law Solicitors.
Legal Changes & Different Employment Sectors
No matter what sort of sector you work in, you have probably experienced some changes in order to protect you and your colleagues. This may have included being furloughed, being asked to work remotely or perhaps even having staggered shifts. It’s important that you know your safety rights as an employee. Your employer owes you a duty of care. That means that if you think you can complete your duties remotely, and do not think it is safe yet to go back to the office, then you have the right to speak up about this.
If you do need to go back to the office, or to any sort of work environment, make sure to keep an eye on these factors. That way, if they do cause a work accident, or you catch Covid-19, you can have the evidence behind you to prove that it was not your fault and that you are owed compensation. Here are some example of what your work space should be doing if they are taking their employee’s health and safety seriously:
- Unfair dismissal
- Suffered from a work accident
- Caught Covid-19 due to unsanitary conditions
What can a lawyer do?
Right now, work issues are some of the biggest legal issues due to Covid-19. Not only have people suffered from unsanitary conditions in the workplace that have spread Covid-19, they may have been unfairly fired or perhaps forced to go to work despite their fears of catching the disease.
Lawyers are here to protect your rights in time of crisis. Your employer has a duty of care towards you and your fellow employees. That means they need to look at a situation and do the best thing for their workers. This may mean furloughing you or asking you to work from home. However, if they have already been negligent and you have got hurt, i.e. from a work accident or getting ill, there is a chance that you could either claim work accident compensation or go to an employer tribunal. Check out our video below to explain how you can claim work accident compensation for your employer’s negligence:
The Importance of writing a will
One of the biggest legal matters that Covid-19 has brought to the surface is the importance of will-writing. Although it may seem like a morbid topic, it is something that all of us need to consider as we get older. Covid-19 has killed over 43,000 people in the UK, therefore we need to consider what will happen to our families if we do get sick. All of us are living with loved ones that we want to protect, especially those who have been classified as vulnerable. We need to think of the future and make sure our wishes are adhered to, even if we are not around in the future.
Covid-19 has obviously presented lawyers with some difficulties when it comes to will writing. In particular, this includes the use of witnesses signing a legal document. In order to help our clients, Gowing Law Solicitors encourages social distancing measures to be followed whilst a will is being constructed. This may include:
- Signing the will on the hood of a car.
- Signing a will in different rooms and alternative pens.
- Socially distanced discussions of the will.
- Sending the will through the post.
- Discussing the will through virtual communication (i.e. video calls).
- Working remotely to ensure social distancing is adhered to.
How long will it take to write a will?
We understand that you may want to complete your will as quickly as possible. That way you can ensure the protection of your family even under lockdown. This is why it is so important for solicitors to be flexible during the pandemic. Although it may mean that the production of a will is delayed slightly, we will try to complete the will in a reasonable amount of time. However, this will depend on the complexity of the will, including:
- What possessions you want to give away.
- If there are any tax or financial issues with your assets.
- Who will be the executor of the will.
- Whether you have any assets that are abroad.
- Whether or not you want to exclude people from the will.
You will need to be available for calls with your potential solicitors. They can talk to you over the phone or through a video call to discuss your assets. You can also scan and send over important documents to them through email or fax. Your lawyer can then create drafts of the will to send back to you until you are happy with the final result. You can then socially distance with 2 witnesses to sign the will. That way the will can be validated and hold up in court.
The future of the court system: What can we expect?
The future of the world is complicated. Solicitors are going to continue to be important, however the back log of court cases is going to come with its own set of problems. One of the main thing that we can expect are delayed lawsuits. We are going to be facing new challenges, especially when it comes to suing for Covid-19 related damages or work accidents.
As the Government changes the law to suit the R-level of the UK, solicitors are going to need to keep an eye on the news to see if any new legislation has been brought into play. Things are going to move fast and it is most likely that lawsuits are going to follow at a similar speed. That’s why lawyers will need to keep an eye out for emergency legislation and remain adaptable to make sure that clients can still obtain justice if they want to claim compensation.
According to Plaintiff’s attorney Elizabeth Cabraser:
“Mistakes are going to be made. This is an emergency. It’s unprecedented. Nobody really prepared for it.”
This is why solicitors will need to be flexible but realistic. That way they can advise their clients on the best way forward to help them with their claim. Things may be delayed for the near future but that does not mean that they are going to stop altogether.
What have we learned from Covid-19?
Although we all may be working remotely, that does not mean that the world has completely stopped turning. Technology is essential for keeping updated with different cases and for helping people. We need to recognize that being away from the office does not stifle our ability to continue on with our jobs. Instead, we have been shown that we can work remotely and still help get justice for other people. The world may be changing but the point of law is that we are able to change with it. Covid-19 has shown our vulnerabilities but we have been able to adapt and overcome. This may change the face of law as we know it, but perhaps for the better!
Do you need legal help?
Here at Gowing Law, if you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, our trained solicitors are here to help you with your case. We can work remotely to ensure that social distancing measures are completely followed. This includes offering support through free advice and consultations over the phone, video calls or any sort communication device. If you do decide to work with us, we work on a “no win, no fee” basis. This means that there is no risk to trying to claim compensation. If we do not win your case, this means there will be no fees. Therefore you will always come out on top!
Contact us today by calling 0800 041 8350, email email@example.com or use our direct messaging system on our contact page.
Want to learn more about the UK law?
Throughout the pandemic, Gowing Law has kept our blog updated with the latest articles about UK law and Covid-19. That way you can always know how you can claim compensation. Our articles provide information on different UK laws and legal news. Make sure to look through our blog to see if there are any additional articles you may like.
We also have a weekly newsletter and are happy to take suggestions for blog titles. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more information.
Gowing Law looks forward to hearing from you soon. Good luck with your future compensation case!