Personal injury (PI) law firms and insurers expect a dip in workload over the next six months as a result of Covid-19 but expect the market to have recovered by the end of 2021, a survey has suggested.
They also expect more activity, such as settlement negotiations and rehabilitation, to move online for good.
The small survey of 50 firms, conducted by serious injury rehabilitation provider Medicess, said that, with travel plummeting during lockdown, 88% expected a decline in road traffic accident claims in the next six months, but for numbers to be back where they were in 18 months.
A similar survey of insurers found that 75% of claims handlers thought the same.
Some 80% of solicitors thought public liability claims would fall during the rest of 2020, and 76% predicted the same for employer’s liability cases.
The majority of solicitors surveyed have found that home-working has improved productivity, provided fewer distractions and improved work/life balance.
Looking longer term, almost all thought that people would not want to go offices, that work hours would become more flexible, and home working would increase, with video conferencing becoming commonplace.
All of the claims handlers expected to see an increase in remote settlement negotiations.
Respondents found that patient care and treatment using remote technologies has proven effective, with 73% of PI solicitors and 75% of claims handlers saying it was here to stay as an alternative to face-to-face where necessary.
“It is expected that there will be a significant decline in demand for fast-track rehabilitation, but the more serious multi-track injury rehabilitation industry will be less affected,” Medicess added.