HCA COVID-19 RESPONSE

A message from Henry Carus, principal at Henry Carus + Associates (as of 14 April 2020)

Dear All,

First and foremost, our hearts go out to those who have been impacted by COVID-19.

At Henry Carus + Associates, the relationship between our firm and our clients is at the cornerstone of our practice.  Our motto of You Deserve More is at the heart of every action we take enabling us to provide a personalised and tailored service to each and every one of our clients.  With your health and safety in mind, we wish to inform you of our response to COVID-19 and how that may impact you as circumstances change.

As the scale of coronavirus (COVID-19) grows and changes daily, Henry Carus + Associates are following the recommendations of the Australian State and Federal Governments, as well as the World Health Organisation.

At this point in time, our priority remains the health and well-being of our clients, staff and community, and at the same time attending to the needs of our clients and being there for new clients seeking our assistance.

We are achieving that by-

  • Having all our offices open with limited number of staff, all maintaining good social distances while the remainder of our staff working from home, are totally connected with the firm.
  • Maintaining high levels of hygiene at our offices, with appropriate practices to ensure clean and healthy conditions for all.
  • We are conducting all our appointments and meetings by way of telephone or digital conferences using Zoom, Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp, as appropriate.
  • We are holding all our litigation conferences and mediations by digital communication services.
  • We are attending to court ordered applications by way of Zoom.
  • We are arranging and having medical examinations with medico-legal specialists held either remotely or where appropriate, in person with the specialist.
  • We are still working on forthcoming court hearings, with the expectation that many will be able to proceed in front of a judge either partly or wholly remotely.

In the event of a government mandated shut down, we already have measures in place to allow all of our staff to work from home to provide the same, if not in many respects a higher level of service. For instance, we are finding our regular digital video conferences with clients, a means of better communication than previously achieved by phone conversation only.

It is everyone’s responsibility to help stop the spread of this virus, and we encourage you to take extra precautions to stay safe.  Websites for The Australian Government Health Department, the Victorian Government Heath Department and your local health authorities, are the best resources for updates and answers to your questions concerning public health and safety.

Information about the Novel Coronavirus including its symptoms can be found at the Victorian Health and Human Services Department: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/information-public-novel-coronavirus.  If you are concerned, call the Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

The only way to get through this time of uncertainty is for us to work together as a community. So, we urge those that are able, to reach out to your neighbours and those around you to see if they are in need and what can be done to assist. Drop a note under their door, or phone them up to see how they are managing.  Together we can overcome.

We at Henry Carus + Associates hope you and your family members are well, healthy, and safe from harm’s way and if there is anything we can do to assist you during this time, please do not hesitate to ask.

Yours Sincerely,

Henry Carus

Commonly Asked Questions

Is Henry Carus + Associates still operational?

Yes, our offices are still open for business during our usual business hours of 9am to 5:30pm. Majority of our staff are working remotely during this time but there are still staff in office.

How will COVID-19 affect my claim?

If you are a current client of Henry Carus + Associates, please contact your lawyer directly for personalized advice on what we are doing for you at this time.

Can I get assistance with a new accident or injury claim now?

Yes, we are available to assist with any new matter at this time, and any call to our office goes immediately to a lawyer to assist you.

I have a current claim but have just lost my job, how will this affect things going forward?

If your circumstances have changed, please contact your lawyer directly to discuss your employment situation, and any other new development.

I was injured in the past, am I still eligible for compensation?

Short answer is that it is likely to be a yes but it is extremely important that you contact our office ASAP so that we can properly advise you and take all steps necessary to protect your potential claim.

What does the TAC not cover?

There are 2 different aspects to the TAC.

  1. It deals only with the personal injury aspect of a transport accident, and does not address at all any property damage to a motor vehicle. To receive assistance for any damaged property in a motor vehicle accident in Victoria, you will need to deal with your own car insurance or with the insurance company for another vehicle who may be responsible for your accident.
  2. The scope of benefits available provided on a no fault basis is limited, either; whether they are provided at all; or provided in part or for a limited time frame. What is and is not covered and for how long can be complicated to understand from the reading of the legislation itself.

The TAC goes to great lengths to publish on its website the benefits available and the policies it has created to deal with the benefits. Such details are of great benefit to most individuals, but you start with having to be internet literate to go through the website and understand what is being offered.

In addition, the policies created by the TAC are not law, but only how they believe the legislation should be interpreted or how to apply the many decisions that have been interpreted by the legislation. It remains open to any person to challenge a policy if such is not how they believe the legislation should be applied to them in any particular circumstance.

It is with this second area of law that our firm regularly comes to the assistance of our clients, to ensure all needed benefits are obtained.

How is Henry Carus + Associates supporting local communities?

Henry Carus + Associates are proud to say that we have made contributions to Foodbank Victoria who are helping to get much needed essential items to those vulnerable members of our community. We are encouraging those who are able to please support Foodbank Victoria or other organisations to help the work they are doing.

Further, we are reaching out to each and every one of our clients checking in to see if there is anything our firm can do to further assist them during this very uncertain time.