THE LEGAL LANDSCAPE HAS CHANGED,
AND THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has caused a lot of changes. Due to this pandemic, experts are working hard every single day to find treatments, and people must find new, fresh ways of experiencing the world. The reality is that the way businesses are operating is shifting. Employees and consumers alike have shown incredible adaptability in the face of this challenge, and it’s bringing a new wave of changes to how work gets done. The judicial branch of the legal system is experiencing its own innovations, and that’s why there’s no reason for us to halt the work we do for you. This is a time to continue pushing forward, and that’s exactly what The Whisler Law Firm is doing.
COVID-19 initially caused many legal proceedings to slow down, and this had insurance companies practically drooling. If you’ve filed a claim recently, then insurance carriers hope they can use COVID-19 and its ripple effects to delay processes. They want you to wait things out long enough that you’ll get impatient and agree to a lower settlement amount or drop the case altogether. But we’re putting our foot down. We’re making them file motions of protective order, and we’re not allowing them to cancel proceedings. They have no excuse to do so because the courts have now made it so that proceedings can continue.
Florida courts have been allowing virtual hearings, depositions, mediations, arbitrations, and more to take place. For a long time, many judges were adamantly against doing anything virtual or technical except for e-filing through an online portal because they simply didn’t trust that the system would work. But now, they’ve been forced to adjust their trust, and it’s certainly working.
Being able to work with judges directly via videoconferencing is changing the landscape of how we handle our clients’ cases for the better. Because of video proceedings, courts have actually been able to get to their backlog of cases much faster than they would under traditional practices. The Whisler Law Firm has also been able to serve many more clients for the same reason: Telecommuting and videoconferencing cuts travel time completely out of the picture. We can get more depositions and more hearings done during the day because we’re not having to travel between multiple locations for them. It’s an incredibly exciting prospect that we hope the courts and other firms will continue utilizing in the future. Videoconferencing could change the scope of how we’re able to serve our clients. We’re in the midst of seeing that proven right now.
So if you’re ready to continue pushing forward with your case, then we’re ready to help. There’s no reason to delay, so don’t let the insurance companies, the courts, or anyone else tell you otherwise. All you need to keep up the fight is a computer or a laptop with a built-in webcam and microphone, a good internet connection, and the ambition to work with us to make things happen. The Whisler Law Firm is not slowing down. We’re finding ways to be busier than ever, and we’re excited to embrace the new frontier this change in process is ushering in.
– Josh Whisler
BE PROACTIVE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH
DON’T LET CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES STALL YOUR RECOVERY
As we mentioned on the cover of this newsletter, don’t delay your personal injury case just because COVID-19 might be changing the process, especially when it comes to the way insurance companies handle your claim. But even more important than pushing forward with the legalities of your case is the way you continue with your recovery.
Medical professionals have advised patients to stay away from health care facilities like hospitals and urgent care units because of their increased exposure to the virus, but if you experience a medical emergency, then it’s vital that you seek the help you need. The risks of not doing so are too great.
If you have ongoing treatment or services necessary to your continued healing of an injury you’ve already suffered, then it’s important to keep up with them to the best of your ability. For the sake of your health and your personal injury case, you must find a way to persevere. If you’re not proactive about regaining your health, then insurance companies are simply not going to believe that you need the compensation you’re seeking. The damages you claim must match up with your treatment plan and the way you execute it. Your recovery activities can affect your health just as much as they can affect the value of your case.
If you’re willing and able to leave your home and visit your doctor during this time, then continue doing so. If not, virtual doctor visits and telehealth practices have grown exponentially over the last few months thanks to the way COVID-19 has forced people to be innovative with their communication. This means you do have options for connecting with medical professionals from the safety of your home, and you can still get the advice you need to continue your recovery routine.
No matter what happens, it’s important to keep your lawyer informed of your actions. If your health care plan changes, if you’re unable to receive the care you need, or if any other issues arise, then reach out as soon as you can. The Whisler Law Firm can help you figure out the best solutions for keeping your treatment on track and your case intact.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO YOU?
A KIDS PROTECTION PLAN LETS YOU DECIDE
The way COVID-19 has swept across the globe has caused many people to consider the plans they have in place for the future. Those plans often include children and what would happen to them should they lose their parents, either temporarily or permanently. It may not be pleasant to think about, but if you want to continue providing for your kids in the event you’re no longer able to, then it’s imperative you put a Kids Protection Plan in place.
Even if you’ve created a will that includes a guardianship provision for your children, that won’t suffice when figuring out how best to provide for them in the long term. If you don’t have clear instructions for what should happen to your kids, they might be placed into Florida’s Department of Children and Families, where a judge will decide who should raise them, and a large portion of your assets meant for your children could be lost.
It’s just as important to clearly name a long-term guardian for your kids as it is to have short-term plans spelled out. Have you designated a standby guardian in the event you have a medical emergency that leaves you incapacitated for a short time? Do your children’s caretakers have access to temporary guardianship documents so that your children don’t end up somewhere they shouldn’t be? Do you have a medical power of attorney and financial authorizations available for temporary caregivers to make emergency decisions for your children? Does anyone have access to your assets should the need arise?
If you have children under the age of 18, then your estate plan needs a foundation that ensures your kids will always be taken care of no matter what happens to you. It needs to include a set of instructions, legal documents, and an ID both you and your kids should carry at all times.
A Kids Protection Plan is insurance that your kids are never placed in the custody of anyone you don’t want them with and that they have the resources they need to live comfortably.
If you have any questions about creating a Kids Protection Plan or any other estate planning matter, then call The Whisler Law Firm. We’ll help you get those questions answered. Preparing now means providing yourself with peace of mind later on.