The global pandemic has struck the entire world with severe blows, bringing almost all the economic sectors to a standstill. Even litigation and court proceedings have seen either a significant decline in their activities’ pace or complete stagnation at all. During the initial phases of the pandemic spread, civil cases across the country had come to an absolute halt. Only criminal cases saw the light of courtrooms at many places, while much of the court work was conducted online. Attorneys and clients arranged meetings over video-link, whereas judges heard cases in virtual proceedings.
COVID-19 & The Legal Industry
In the industry’s private realm, many law firms had shut down for extended periods, while many others allowed their employees to work remotely. In such times of unavailability, clients were unable to obtain legal assistance from lawyers. Even where they could, the attorneys were caught in uncertainty about the reopening of courts and streamlining the usual litigation. Not all cases that could end up before a judge could be filed. Since the onset of the virus, the federal government had taken serious steps to restrict mass public access to courts and public offices. The Supreme Court was closed for tourists since March 12, whereas the circuit courts nationally were either temporarily shut down or made to function at a reduced scale. For these unprecedented court closures made out of policy reasons, potential plaintiffs have been in great distress for almost a year now.
The Exploitation of the Pandemic by Defendants
Moreover, insurance companies and other parties deemed to be at fault have entirely taken this to their advantage. With a considerable lag of cases pending to be filed in the courts and the unpredictable state of lockdowns, parties at liability have had their fair share of luxury in delaying justice. They have discovered an easy way out: delay the negotiations, deny a settlement, benefit from the uncertainty, and make the plaintiffs wait for the right time. Although periodic limitations for filing lawsuits were either extended or stopped for the COVID-19 period, the plaintiffs are still suffering due to obstructions towards cause of justice.
Adapting to the New Trend
Fortunately, almost all courts across the country have now reverted to their usual speed of work. Pending cases have resumed, fresh lawsuits are filed, and notices are being served to defendants. Even otherwise, medical experts reckon continuous oncoming of more severe and deadlier waves of the pandemic in the coming months. Such persistent spells of the virus will automatically entail more shutdowns and court closures, further increasing the plaintiffs’ likelihood of suffering.
The advent of the mutated COVID-19 variant has recently plunged the UK back into strict lockdown and isolation nationally. Consequently, the trend that is to follow is expected to be that of frequent, unannounced courts and tribunals’ closures. This may be the case, at least in civil cases, where life or liberties are not put at stake. Lawsuits fall under the civil realm of litigation, which means persons suffering personal injuries, no matter how serious they might be, may also have to compromise on their claims during possible closures. Such a drift in litigation practice is bound to give plaintiffs an equally tough time, who must adapt to the same to their eventual advantage. Court practices and routines in many states across the country have been transformed to accommodate the new approach that is to follow. Examples of such transformation can be greater insistence by courts on pretrials and bargains, holding online hearings and virtual proceedings, shortening the length of trials, limiting the common public’s presence in courts, etc.
Legal Funding as an Aid for Plaintiffs
Similarly, even plaintiffs require alternate, temporary, and accessible remedies to have resort to when instant legal recourse to the courts cannot be made. So, what’s available to a needy plaintiff who desperately needs adequate compensation but has to wait for things to return to normal first? The simple answer is lawsuit finance or legal funding. These programs are offered by financing companies and seek to help plaintiffs during their pending litigations. Facing financial hardships during the pendency of cases is usual, more so if the case is a personal injury and has left the plaintiff in some form of a disability. Plaintiffs, during the pendency of cases, are hence in desperate need of cash to put food on the table, pay bills, and finance any sort of medical assistance they might need. In the absence of any income source, not many people have enough financial backup to help sustain them for longer periods, due to uncertain court closures and lockdowns. Legal funding programs work great here for such plaintiffs by providing them enough cash advance to meet their regular expenses. Support is extended to plaintiffs until the court passes a verdict or a settlement is reached between the parties. The cash advance initially obtained will hence be paid back to the financing company from the amount decreed or settled, in addition to a minimal fee charged by the company. There’s more to the extent of support provided to the plaintiffs. In case the lawsuit ends up fruitless, the plaintiff is under no obligation to pay back the financing company anything at all.
How to Avail Legal Funding Programs During COVID-19?
Opting for a lawsuit funding product is easy and hassle-free. Plaintiffs in need can contact any financing company that offers cash advance to support persons struggling through pending litigations. The most appropriate program can be chosen and applied instantly. Many funding companies have launched online platforms to apply for legal funding, upon which the case is scrutinized and verified over a short call with the applicants. No credit checks or employment confirmation is made; neither is any collateral held against the funds. If the case is approved, the funds are released instantly, made available for the plaintiffs within 24-48 hours, varying by each company.