As coronavirus has spread across the nation, employers have been forced to close, causing financial hardship for millions. State and local governments have limited social gatherings, restricted restaurants to delivery and take-out only, and enforced stay-at-home orders during the pandemic. There’s also another impact of COVID-19—an increase in demand for lawyers, legal services, and legal funding.
Aside from its social and economic impact, coronavirus is having effects on the legal and litigation financing industry. Currently, we are seeing two major trends:
Increased Demand for Lawyers
Companies across the country have sought the guidance of a lawyer to help with a wide range of issues. Some employers are concerned about how to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in dealing with matters such as:
- Treating employees who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Dealing with workers who have symptoms of coronavirus infection.
- Determining who should be required to self-quarantine.
- Providing paid sick time or complying with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
- Using the force majeure clause to back out of contracts or delay orders.
An attorney may also be needed to assist employees and healthcare providers. Legal professionals have been hearing from individuals who have concerns about:
- The safety and sanitary conditions of their workplace.
- Accommodations by employers for people required to work at home.
- Legal implications of an employer who doesn’t reasonably accommodate a worker.
Addressing employees’ concerns and following CDC guidance such as postponing large meetings have both practical and legal implications leaving decision makers with hard choices. While the CDC provides various online resources for health care professionals, health care institutions have been seeking legal advice on responding to patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or who have symptoms. Hospital and clinical staff with concerns over working conditions and exposure to the virus are seeking legal counsel as well.
Increased Demand for Legal Funding
The pandemic is not only imposing financial stress on the general public. It threatens to spark an economic recession that creates even more financial challenges. And if you’re out of work due to an injury and have a personal injury case, there’s even more pressure to settle your case for financial support. But with funds from your settlement potentially months, even years, away, pre-settlement financing may be your only option (aside from insurance disputes taking time, some law offices have shut down to protect against infection).
Legal funding can provide the funds you need, out of your future settlement. Professionals in the litigation financing industry see an economic downturn as an opportunity. Allison Chock, Chief Investment Officer-US for Omni Bridgeway, is one of them.
The funding firm CIO said, “A downturn in the economy historically speaking means an uptick in disputes, both in litigation and in arbitration. With that increase will inevitably come more and more opportunities for the litigation finance industry.”1
Chock also said that insurance-related disputes are likely to spike soon while bankruptcy and insolvency cases may rise if the economy continues to decline. Federal, state, and local restrictions aren’t helping any. On top of that, employees concerned for their safety may not come to work, further impacting productivity. Contractual conflicts related to the virus and performance obligations are straining relationships between many parties.
FCA Legal Funding: Easy Process, Easy Application
If you’re a plaintiff or firm in need of litigation funding during the coronavirus pandemic, FCA Legal Funding can help. We offer a fast, simple process to apply for and receive a cash advance out of your future settlement funds. Our legal funding company can approve you for funding within 24 hours of speaking to your attorney. Pay us nothing out of pocket and you’ll owe nothing if you don’t win your case. Call 310-424-5176 to learn more.