For many of us, life as we knew it has changed and we’re living in much more uncertain times. The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way many of us work, live and play.
Regardless of whether you’re an essential worker and still going in to work or whether you’re now working from home, one thing hasn’t changed: people are still in need of workers’ compensation.
On top of confusion around workers’ comp coverage in general, there is also confusion surrounding whether you’ll be able to consult an attorney at all.
Are attorneys considered an essential service?
Mack Babcock, the founder of The Babcock Law Firm, was recently interviewed by Enjuris about how his firm, team and clients are dealing with the effects of COVID-19.
According to Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, law firms are still able to operate. However, even essential businesses must follow social distancing requirements. For Colorado, these requirements are as follows:
- Encouraging everyone to cover coughs or sneezes using a sleeve or elbow, rather than hands
- Ensuring high-touch surfaces are cleaned regularly
- Maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from others
- Restricting shaking hands
- Encouraging frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer if washing isn’t possible)
While law firms are legally able to stay open, they are strongly encouraged to utilize telework or work-from-home options if working remotely is possible.
The Babcock Law Firm was quick to adopt safer work policies, even before the Colorado government got involved.
As Mack told Enjuris:
“We took measures to protect our staff and clients before any formal directives had been put into place by local or state government. In early March, we began encouraging everyone in the office to keep as much distance between one another as possible, wash hands regularly, and avoid in-person meetings with current and prospective clients.”
By the middle of March, most of the team at The Babcock Law Firm were working from home, with the majority of in-office activities (like opening mail and writing checks) restricted to the practice manager and attorneys.
Since then, The Babcock Law Firm has worked hard to ensure that our employees are as safe as possible and we are just as concerned about our current and prospective clients. Thankfully, most of our clients have remained unaffected by the pandemic and the shutdowns resulting from its spread.
Likewise, the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation and Office of Administrative Courts has remained open, which allowed hearings and prehearing conferences to continue as scheduled. In addition, many of the insurance companies and defense firms have adopted the same remote working model, which has helped to keep things relatively unaffected.
The most common question clients are reaching out to ask us about is seeking medical care.
According to Mack:
“[W]e have a few clients who have been unable to move forward with elective surgeries, while others have reached out to request that non-imperative treatments or physical exams be rescheduled for a later date or completed via telemedicine.”
Any prospective clients who need assistance with a workers’ compensation case should rest assured that we will continue to be open to help serve them. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed much for our firm, as our attorneys have always had the technology to work remotely.
For anyone needing to contact us, we utilize a Voice Over Internet Protocol (“VOIP”) phone system so our paralegals and attorneys are able to utilize their cell phones to send and receive calls from the firm’s office number.
Additionally, we are still able to receive faxes and emails. We’re also able to send and receive text messages through our office’s standard phone number.
Here at The Babcock Law Firm, we won’t allow a global pandemic to keep us from serving and advocating for our clients and our community! If you need assistance with your Colorado workers’ compensation claim, don’t hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys today.