Ontario personal injury lawyer Darcy Merkur explains impact of COVID-19 on practice

Merkur predicts the collapse of mass marketing firms and early retirements

Ontario personal injury lawyer Darcy Merkur explains impact of COVID-19 on practice

The COVID-19 pandemic may have far-reaching implications for personal injury practice, says an Ontario-based trauma lawyer.

As the number of new personal injury claims dwindles,  decreased revenues and reduced personnel mean that “mass marketing to the same distasteful extent that we have seen in the last few years may not be an option for struggling firms,” especially in the context of a public health crisis, says wrote Darcy Merkur in a blog post titled “The Impacts Of COVID-19 On The Personal Injury Law Firm Landscape.”

The past decade has seen “a major escalation” in mass marketing by new personal injury firms seeking to improve their brand awareness and to receive more client calls, said Merkur, a partner at Thomson Rogers.

But the public health crisis —which has caused court and tribunal closures, emergency lockdowns, physical distancing measures and other government-imposed restrictions —has effectively reduced the number of new personal injury claims and has slowed pending personal injury litigation, wrote Merkur.

With fewer people engaging in outdoor activities and events, there are also fewer accidents requiring the services of a personal injury lawyer, said Merkur. Also, despite the implementation of remote court proceedings via videoconferencing technology, delays due to court closures will result in the delayed resolution of personal injury cases.

“With the substantially reduced number of cases, those mass marketing law firms will not have the same volume of calls,” wrote Merkur.

According to Merkur, potential clients may opt to retain firms with established track records and personal injury lawyers with peer-reviewed credentials.

“We are looking at a ‘new normal,’ which may very well have long lasting impacts on businesses including personal injury law firms,” said Merkur.

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