As you know, our country is in the midst of a global pandemic that is affecting us in many different ways. The COVID-19 situation is changing very rapidly and the information we have available changes daily, which is why we want to provide you with the most up-to-date advice available about some of the most common questions we’re getting from clients and others in our communities.
1. Are You Still Open for Business?
Yes! We are currently still open for business and are actively accepting new clients as well as working on existing cases. In order to comply with CDC and government recommendations and rules, we are actively practicing social distancing. As a result, many members of our staff are working from home.
Additionally, in order to protect both our team members still working in the office as well as clients, we’re currently opening the office to clients on an appointment basis only. We are also encouraging phone calls with clients as much as possible, to avoid unnecessary in-person interactions.
2. How Do I Contact The Firm During This Time?
Since we’re currently not accepting walk-ins to our office, in order to protect the health and safety of both staffers and clients, we highly recommend getting in touch with us online or by phone. If you have a question, a concern, or would like a consultation on your case, please don’t hesitate to submit a contact form from the website at www.jimadler.com.
We’re also available by phone at 1-800-567-7575. If you do require an in-person appointment, please give us a call ahead of time and we’d be happy to discuss your situation.
3. What If I Have A Court or Hearing Date in the Next Few Weeks?
If you have a court or hearing date in the new future, it’s important to know that we are working from the most current guidance from the state of Texas (which was last updated on 3/19). In short, these new court procedures can allow for a number of different changes to proceedings in order to give judges the ability to limit risk to court staff, attorneys, jurors, and the public.
Some of these changes allow for judges to modify or suspend deadlines and statutes of limitations, allow individuals involved in a hearing to participate remotely, conduct court hearings away from the court’s usual location, and more.
We recognize that it can be difficult to stay on top of the COVID-19 situation, which is why we’re closely monitoring any news related to potential effects on court proceedings and we will keep you informed of the status of your case and any necessary modifications.
4. Will This Pandemic Affect The Timeline of My Case?
While every case is different and a lot will depend on the status of your particular case and where it is in the process, the unfortunate reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely slow down the timeline of your case. While many courts are working quickly to identify video and audio-conferencing solutions and adapting regulations so that staffers can work from home and court proceedings can continue to happen virtually, many other courts are being forced to close down entirely in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. For example, the government’s strong recommendations against gatherings of more than 10 people makes securing an in-person jury of 12 individuals nearly impossible.
As a result, even the most basic proceedings are being delayed, rescheduled, and cancelled. While we have no way of knowing for sure what changes to legal proceedings will continue to happen in the coming days and weeks, we are working diligently behind the scenes to stay abreast of the situation and keep our clients well-informed of any changes to their specific cases.
5. What Should I Do If I Can’t Get To My Scheduled Doctor’s Appointments?
If you’re unable to keep any doctors’ appointments because you’re practicing social distancing/self-isolation or you’re experiencing cold and/or flu-like symptoms, get in touch with your doctor’s office by phone or email to discuss your options.
Many medical providers are now equipped for telemedicine appointments, meaning that you may be able to still have your appointment via HIPAA-compliant video conferencing programs. If a telemedicine appointment is not a realistic option for you, discuss what alternate arrangements can be made, such as rescheduling the appointment for a future date. Whatever you do, don’t just no-show for your appointment, as that can negatively impact the long-term success of your case.
6. Are You Still Taking New Cases?
Yes, we are! In order to maintain the safety of our staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are requiring all clients or prospective clients coming into the office to have an appointment. We are also encouraging social distancing by, as always, offering free phone consultations as well. If you’d like to schedule a phone call or an in-person appointment, please submit a contact form on the website or give us a call at 1-800-567-7575.
If this describes your situation, at this point it’s unclear as to what your legal rights in this area are currently or will be in the future. As most efforts are primarily focused on containment at the moment, it’s likely that the situation will continue to develop and that we won’t have many concrete answers until well after we get the virus spread under control and the pandemic is over. The legal validity of any workers’ compensation or personal injury claims directly resulting from the pandemic remains to be seen. But regardless, we’re here for you, and we’re happy to discuss the specifics of your unique situation. If you want to talk, you can get in touch with us via the contact form on our website or by calling 1-800-567-7575.
Obviously, nobody has all the answers to some of the questions we’re frequently being asked, and some of these answers may change as the situation develops. Regardless, though, Jim Adler and Associates, we’re here to help and are committed to serving our clients to the best of our abilities, even during these uncertain times. If you need our assistance, please reach out to us on our website contact form or give us a call at 1-800-567-7575. We look forward to hearing from you. And in the meantime, stay healthy and stay safe, friends.