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Personal Injury Claims During a Pandemic and Beyond: “Beyond” What Will We Take With Us?

Austin LiPuma

Perhaps one of, if not the biggest, lessons from the past 15 months has been learning to abstain from grand declarations about what the future will hold. With that important qualifier, I am placing this particular post in the “beyond” category. Almost a year to the date, this blog began not knowing what the world would look like in June, 2021. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that for much of the world, the Pandemic rages on. At home, we were blessed with an objective medical miracle in the form of efficacious vaccines—entering my office last week to several glowing smiles did wonders for my headspace.

However, it remains clear that “beyond” does not mean “back.” Despite how much conflict we collectively create, humans have an exceptional ability to adapt. And adapt we did. Look how much time, money, and resources were saved for clients when utilizing technology in a smart way. For starters, look no further than the obvious tech elephant in everyone’s virtual room: Zoom. In an incredibly-not-empirically-based poll I conducted on Linkedin, 54% of respondents indicated that they would continue to use Zoom in a professional context post-pandemic. An additional 38% responded that they would use Zoom “as often as [they] can.” There are obviously some noteworthy exceptions to the agency of Zoom. While it was a wonderful tool in many contexts (personally, I thought mediations were particularly effective), there are times and places where attempting to virtualize personal contact just does not cut it. Jury trials being perhaps the biggest one.

With all that said, “beyond” means acknowledging what we have endured. Our field often lacks in access and inclusivity. The Pandemic allowed many of us to continue to practice because these tools broadened both accessibility and inclusivity. In an increasingly globalized and inter-connected world, embracing these aspects is the prudent move. As we all continue to move beyond let’s aid each other in not falling back.

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