Irene Gabo on the Morning Show at Davidzon Radio – April 27, 2020
Is your office open during covid?
Right now, my office is working remotely, meaning I am working from home. Whatever I need from clients, I can get via email, fax or mail. We do zoom meetings, phone calls, texts. At present the courts are closed for personal injury actions and most of my correspondence with defense attorneys is by email. Courts are not scheduling any conference, allowing any filing of documents, or any e-filing, so in that sense, the cases in court are being postponed. Because of this there are delays, and some defense firms are laying off employees so not many cases are being worked on by the opposite side. At the same time, people are reachable by phone, so we have been very successful in settling some of our cases now, I personally prepare all the settlement packages now and send them by email or fax or mail to the insurance company, and this money is very welcome at this time by our clients.
How can we send you documents if we cannot go outside during covid?
Prior to Passover holidays I worked with JCH in personally delivering holiday meals to senior citizens. I would wear a mask and gloves, and would leave the packages on people’s porch or by their door. Same thing now. If I can email or fax something to the client and they can print it out at home, I will do that. If I need a photo of something, they can take a photo with their phone and email it to me. If I need to see the client personally to sign something, I will drive to their house, leave it by the door, step away, client will open the door, sign the documents, leave by the door and I’ll pick it up afterwards.
How can I provide a “serious injury” if I cannot treat during covid?
There are medical offices that are still open, but I know a lot of clients are afraid to go there now. The insurance companies understand that and many will allow clients additional time to treat after corona restrictions are eased. Proving serious injury will not be an issue if the client a) resumes the treatment after restrictions are eased and b) if the client can prove that they have been doing some time of physical therapy and exercise at home. Many of my clients document such home exercise on a video. The medical offices who treat my clients showed them what they can do at home on their own and my clients do that 2-3 times per week and someone records them. I will then sent those videos to the insurance company, as proof that they did do the exercises.
Are there medical offices open now you can recommend?
Doctor’s offices tend to be open but they adjusted how the see clients. For example, one office has the next patient wait outside and calls them when the patient in front of them comes out of the office and the exam room is sanitized. There are also doctors who do zoom video calls, especially psychologists. Finally, there is virtual PT that some offices do that allow the therapist to walk a client through a series of exercises on zoom.
If I am not an essential worker how can I prove lost wages now during covid?
When one applies for lost wages, the insurance company requires two things: a disability note from a doctor, and a letter from your employer, called form NF6, which verifies your time out of work, your salary. Once those two are sent to the employer, it is up to insurance company to pay timely. Most pay within 30 days of receiving the documents, and now companies, like Allstate can even direct deposit the check into your bank account. However, there are companies, like American Transit, that right now have fallen off a map, they don’t respond to phone calls, emails, mail, threats.
Can you notarize a document now and how?
The recent order from a governor allows notary to witness the signature of the document by a customer on a video, like zoom or google duo or even facetime. The customer shows an iD to a notary and notary witnesses the customer sign the document. Thereafter, the client mails the document to a notary and notary put his stamp and signature on the document. We have been doing it for many clients in my office. Whatever documents need to be signed, I email or mail to my clients, and then we schedule zoom meetings.
What’s going on with law offices? I called mine and he said nothing is going on in my case.
Right now, my office is working remotely. Whatever I need from clients, I can get via email, fax or email. We do zoom meetings, phone calls, texts. However, for all non emergencies, such as a personal injury case, courts are closed. They are not scheduling any conference, allowing any filing of documents, or any e-filing, so in that sense, the cases in court are being postponed. Many defense firms have laid off staff and are working remotely. So we still work on your case, but nothing is heard in the Court now.