With the number of confirmed infections continuing to rise since the first reported cases in late December, COVID-19 continues to impact businesses and individuals globally. For the majority of us this means our usual lives are put on hold. This will have a significant impact but, hopefully, this will be relatively short lived and it is a pause from which we will recover. Therefore delays with these cases are inevitable for the foreseen future.
For example there have been understandably been delays in obtaining expert reports and arranging medical appointments. Medical experts often combine a medico-legal and NHS role. Therefore making reports for litigation will (and should) take second place with the given circumstances. However, currently due to the social distancing and lockdown measures, some experts have been have found ways to continue to progress claims by using technology in order to carry out online medical appointments and assessments.
Court appearances at the moment also remain uncertain. If the matter can be carried out by either telephone or by some sort of video conferencing platform such as Skype then the parties should put in their best effort in order to achieve this. However, even this requires staff members from both parties to be physically present especially in the Courts as they are required to set the conferences/trials up. New hearings however may not be listed during this period. As a result this can lead onto delays for cases and even concluding it if the hearing concerned is a trial.
However, the circumstances regarding the COVID-19 are changing everyday and given that the daily recorded coronavirus cases and casualties are kept low the Government may ease the lockdown a lot earlier than people originally anticipated allowing businesses to run back to how they were.