What Hath The Pandemic Wrought in Personal Injury?


What hath the Pandemic Wrought

First, the Courts are still very backed up. Currently, Philadelphia and its suburban venues are bumping their longer and hence more involved cases to 2023! So, auto negligence cases with only one defendant and one plaintiff are getting trial dates. Cases with more than one defendant or that will take more than a week of trial are getting triaged by the Court.  This presents a huge logistical challenge for us, as lawyers, because we don’t really know with any certainty when cases will go to trial.  While being nimble and flexible is part of being a busy trial lawyer, most of us have dealt with this uncertainty by agreeing to a lot more mediations or binding arbitrations than would have happened in the past.  I think this will probably get better over 2022.  Certainly, the insurers agree with this view as they have begun trying to settle cases more regularly than they did in 2021.

Second,  I don’t think that there is any reason to require in person depositions in the future.  I prefer the zoom depositions, except for certain aspects.  Far, far less time is wasted in getting a zoom deposition to conclusion. Often, travel time, coordinating court reporters, dealing with inclement weather and similar issues is a huge time suck in getting depositions completed. However, with zoom, there really is little reason for your opposition to not agree to a deposition date. It is simply less intrusive for clients on both sides. What is lost? Well, something is lost in not seeing a person’s reactions in person. With expert witnesses, it gives the expert more time to figure out an answer to a tough question.