Tag Archive for: covid-19

Looking at the Positive Side of COVID-19

We are in the middle of difficult times. For many of us, it is the most difficult thing we will face in our lifetime. No one knows when this will end, how it will end, or what the future looks like once it’s all over. Many states, including Alabama, have begun to reopen, but it will likely be a while before things returned to “normal”.

Yet, despite all of this, there is hope. There is truly a silver lining in every cloud, and in the COVID-19 pandemic, people have grown in new ways. While we all hope that this situation ends quickly, there are some things we’d like to take with us as we find out what post-COVID 19 life looks like.

Family Time

Many families are spending meaningful time together for the first time in years. Think about what the average American family’s schedule looked like before COVID 19. Working parents and school-age students were separated for 8-10 hours per day, followed by a rush to finish extracurriculars, shove down dinner, clean up, and get to bed in order to do it all again the next day.

Now, eight hours of school per day have been replaced with four or five hours of distance learning, and there are no extracurriculars to rush to. Families are taking walks together, enjoying dinner together, playing games, and learning how to spend time together without the rush of daily life. When life resumes as normal, we hope these new connections will continue to get stronger.

Improved Work Efficiency

Working from home is a flexible option for many people, and not just during a pandemic. Parents, those who live far from their main office, and those in areas prone to bad winter weather can all benefit from flexible working options. Now that many companies have essentially been forced to develop remote work options, perhaps this creativity can benefit employees in the future. This could change how business is done in the future, bringing more people into the workforce.

Diverse Educational Options

Education has changed in many of the same ways that businesses have changed. Educators note that online K-12 learning has been forced into the spotlight, giving children new ways to harness their energy and creativity. This has led to the rise of tools like Outschool, which allows kids to take ongoing or one-time courses on everything from grammar and math skills to the use of Japanese mythology in Animal Crossing. Kids are building connections with people from across the globe and exploring new mindsets that had never been available to them.

This change could benefit current and future students. Not all children learn well in a classroom setting, and the rise of online learning options could help students who have learning difficulties, who are subject to bullying at school, and those who are unable to attend school for medical reasons. Robust online learning options can help these students get the same rich educational experience as in-person students.

Scientific Collaboration

Never in recent history has the scientific community been quite as focused as it is at this exact moment. COVID-19 has impacted the entire world, and scientists are in a race to come up with treatments, vaccines, and rapid tests that will benefit society and allow us to return to normal as soon as possible. Now that we see the unharnessed power of scientists, we look forward to seeing how this collaboration will change the future of health care.

New Ways to Connect

As a result of COVID-19, extended families have been forced to go long stretches of time without seeing each other, friends can’t get together for happy hour, and in-person dating is all but gone. But instead of giving up on socializing, people have found new ways to connect. From simultaneous Netflix experiences to Zoom happy hours and Skype dates, people are discovering that there is more to being connected than simply being in the same physical space.

Everyone looks forward to restaurant dates, family gatherings, and birthday parties resuming, but we hope that these other means of connection will still be used. After all, if we can connect with friends from around the corner with Zoom, why not use it all the time to bond with friends from across the country or across the world? Life as we know it has changed completely, and it is important to look at the positive changes while grieving our losses. This pandemic has the potential to make life more accessible, enjoyable, and productive for everyone in society—including those who were shut out before. As we prepare for life after COVID-19, let’s take the lessons from this time and use them to improve life for everyone. The team at Mann & Potter remains optimistic about the future, and as always, we are here to help

How Will the Coronavirus Affect My Personal Injury Case?

In case navigating a personal injury claim wasn’t challenging enough on its own, now you have to do so in the middle of a serious pandemic. Luckily, you’re not alone. Many others are in the same boat as you right now, and there are hard-working attorneys ready to help you explore your options and get what you deserve.

A lot depends on the specific details of your case. However, there are several ways that the pandemic could affect your case and its timeline.

Insurance Companies Are Jumping On COVID-19 to Limit Payouts

To start, you should expect a tougher fight with the insurance company as you try to negotiate a settlement for your injuries. Insurance companies are difficult to work with in the best of times, and right now, they are pushing back even harder. They face serious losses to their bottom line as people cancel insurance to save money or downgrade their policies. They stand to save a lot of money if they can convince victims to accept paltry settlements.

Additionally, many courts across the country are closed or running at minimal capacity during the pandemic. Insurance companies know this, and they know that most victims don’t want to wait months or years for a court award. They use this information to get the upper hand during negotiations and try to convince you to either accept less or take your chances in court.

This is just one reason that it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney that you trust. They have substantial experience working with insurance adjusters, so you definitely want one fighting for you as you try to get a settlement.

Anticipate Delays and Follow Your Attorney’s Lead

Delays are inevitable right now, but a skilled attorney can minimize delays and help you get through this time with minimal stress. If your case goes to court, you may have to wait until county courts reopen and accept new filings before you can fight the insurance company for compensation.

Most personal injury claims never get this far. Most are settled out of court. Because of this, it’s important to be patient and follow your attorney’s lead. The insurance company handling your claim could be overloaded at this time as people report accidents, seek payouts, and try to downgrade their coverage to save money. Your attorney knows this and can help you understand the timeline and prepare for potential delays.

Factors That Could Complicate a Personal Injury Case

Certain factors could make your case much more complicated. If any of these apply to you, talk to your attorney and figure out your next steps.

  • The liable party is now broke. COVID-19 has economically devastated many people. If you were in the process of suing the liable party and they have lost a substantial amount of money, your recovery options may be limited. Discuss this with your lawyer, as many individuals still have assets that can be used to pay damages.
  • The liable party canceled their insurance policy prior to the accident that injured you. If your claim occurred after the COVID-19 crisis started, consider the fact that some people canceled their car insurance policies to save money as their financial situation worsened. If the person who hit you was driving without insurance, you may not be able to recover very much from them. Those who cannot afford insurance are likely to have other assets that could be used to compensate you after an accident.
  • You are unable to get medical care because of closed clinics. Personal injury cases depend heavily on medical evidence. With many clinics and hospitals closing except for emergency cases, you might have a hard time finding a medical professional to assess and treat your injuries. If this is the case, your attorney may be able to connect you with a care provider that is working through the pandemic.
  • Your work closed because of COVID-19 and you’re not sure if you are entitled to lost wages in your claim. This is one of the unique situations caused by a pandemic that has shuttered much of the economy. This may depend on the type of work you do, whether or not they have work-from-home options, and whether or not they are paying impacted workers during this time.

With an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side, you can navigate the claims process with confidence and ease. While it may be more difficult to settle a claim during a pandemic, it certainly isn’t impossible. If you’re looking for a lawyer who is up to the challenge, contact Mann & Potter, PC today. Call us or reach out online to discuss your options.

Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic has left some of the world’s busiest streets nearly empty. Photos of downtown Chicago, Times Square, and Paris at dinner time show just a few stragglers. You might think that this means that streets are safer for pedestrians, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Many of the drivers that remain are engaging in more reckless behavior, and a lot of them are distracted due to current circumstances. Because of this, it is important to be as careful as possible while getting your steps in.

Take Extra Care at Crosswalks

Crosswalks, designed to improve pedestrian safety, are some of the most dangerous places for pedestrians to be. Consider the “walk” button that pedestrians often have to push to trigger a walk signal; some communities have deactivated and blocked off these buttons to prevent the unintentional spread of germs on them. This means that pedestrians have to hope that drivers are paying attention and that they’ll look before turning into a jogger or biker. If you have to use crosswalks, keep an eye out for those turning across your walkway and be prepared to wait if they don’t notice you.

Avoid Busy Roads

Though the pandemic has left many roads empty, there are still pockets of congested traffic—particularly around hospitals, grocery stores, and other essential businesses. If at all possible, redirect your routes so you avoid these areas. Additionally, a number of states have experienced protests in response to safe-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. Stay up-to-date on local news and traffic reports as traffic tends to be gridlocked by aggressive drivers. This combination creates serious danger for pedestrians just trying to get to work or get some exercise.

Know Your Community’s Busy Hours

As you spend more time walking around, you may get a feel for when the roads are busy and when everything tends to quiet down. There are still quite a few essential workers heading into their places of business every day, and you should try to stay off the roads during this time. Keep in mind that these workers may be under enormous stress. They are likely worried about being exposed to COVID-19 as part of their daily work. This creates a situation where distracted driving is nearly inevitable. Save your walks for quiet times and try to avoid walks when people are going to work or coming home from work.

Take Extra Precautions at Night

Nighttime walking is generally more dangerous than daytime walking, and that is even more true now. The risks of distracted driving go up dramatically at night, since people tend to take fewer precautions and assume that the roads are empty. Additionally, nighttime walks put you at risk of encountering a fatigued driver. If you must walk after dark, attach reflective strips to your clothes, stay on roads that have sidewalks, and don’t use headphones. You want to stay completely aware of your surroundings.

Assume Every Driver is Not Paying Attention

This tip may sound like overkill, but it’s one that can truly save your life. As a pedestrian, you are at greatest risk in any accident. Because of this, you have to take every precaution possible to protect yourself. When you’re walking, you don’t know which drivers are paying attention and driving safely and which ones are distracted by bad news, overwork, or stress. The solution: just assume that every driver is distracted or fatigued. Waiting until you know it’s safe to cross the road protects you from reckless, fatigued, or distracted drivers.

Make Sure You Have a Charged Phone and Identification

No matter how many precautions you take, accidents do happen. If you end up being the victim of a pedestrian accident, you must be able to call for help and get the care you need. Even if you’re just going out for a few minutes, keep identification on you at all times and ensure that your phone is charged. While most drivers stop and do the right thing when they cause an accident, hit-and-run accidents do happen, and pedestrians are often left picking up the pieces.

If you go on walks frequently, consider using the “share location” feature available on most smartphones to let a family member know where you are when you’re out. This way, they are able to call for help if you don’t come home as expected or if you are hit by a car and you’re unable to call emergency services.

Walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy, especially in a time when our immune systems need all the help they can get. By following these tips, you can stay safe. If you are hurt in an accident, you deserve experienced legal representation to help you recover your losses. Call Mann & Potter, PC today to discuss your case.