The implication of Covid-19 on expert medical appointments

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the world globally, everyday life is disrupted and inevitably Covid-19 has had a big impact on the Court process and the progression of Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence claims.   From speaking with Clients, it is clear that there are some concerns regarding the ability to progress Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury cases efficiently as experts have returned to NHS duties and their medico legal work has understandably had to take a back seat.  Claimants are also unable to travel to the appointments and logistically many cannot take place physically due to the social distancing restrictions.  This is resulting in delays in the preparation of reports/obtaining comments and also arranging medical appointments, thus impacting upon procedural Directions.

On the flip side, we have heard that some experts are embracing change and they have adapted quickly to the changes and are more receptive and able to provide appointments remotely, ensuring some cases are progressing much quicker.  Attending an expert medical appointment remotely will be attractive to most Clients as it removes the stress and worry of travelling across the Country to attend such appointments, although it will not suit everyone.

As restrictions begin to ease, it is unlikely that expert appointments will return to ‘normal’ anytime soon and disruption could remain for many months to come.  The situation is still uncertain and the progression of cases will depend on the expert and the facilities available to them.  If it is evident that there will be a delay in procuring an appointment or obtaining a report and this is likely to impede upon the Directions, make urgent steps to go through the correct procedures to extend the Directions timetable.

Emma Robson, Costs Lawyer, Litigation Department

Direct Dial: 01228 815392

Email: [email protected]

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