The Taylor&Emmet Blog

A Trainee’s Perspective: What it’s really like to work in Personal Injury

For clients who have been injured as a result of an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, time off work is often needed to fully recover. This causes risk of financial difficulties and loss of income. If the accident was not the fault of the injured person, it’s important to obtain the justice and compensation that that they deserve in order to help them get their life back on track and alleviate any financial strain they have suffered as a result of the accident.

There are some misconceptions about Personal Injury claims…

  • Some people think that certain Claimants are scammers and are just after free money. This could not be further from the truth. Whilst every law firm encounters those who are trying it on from time to time, the vast majority of claims are legitimate and sometimes extremely heart breaking with tragic consequences.
  • It is a misconception that Claimants have to wait a prolonged period of time to see any benefit from a claim. While some high value and complex Personal Injury claims can take a long time to reach a conclusion, fast-track claims where liability is admitted early on can be settled within a few months. Similarly, although some cases are more complex in nature requiring several expert opinions, we are able to arrange interim payments to start the rehabilitation process as soon as possible.
  • Another misconception is that it is expensive to make a Personal Injury claim, however the majority of cases are funded on a no win, no fee arrangement. This means that the clients pay nothing unless they win, when most legal costs are recovered from the opponent and the clients pay a success fee of up to 25% (and usually less) to their solicitors by deduction from their compensation at the end of the claim.
  • It is also worth busting the myth that all Personal Injury claims end up in Court. Most are settled without Courts being involved. Of those where Court proceedings are started, less than 5% reach a final hearing, with most being settled well beforehand.
  • Some people believe that because their injury happened a long time ago, it is too late to do anything about it. In Personal Injury claims, there is a strict 3 year time limit from the date of the accident or the date on which clients first became aware of it (the date of knowledge) to commence a claim.

I have always had an interest in medical law and have a fascination with physiology and anatomy. In the Personal Injury department at Taylor&Emmet, I genuinely believe that the team is helping clients in a way that no other area of law can. Rehabilitation, cost of care, and compensation can change injured people’s lives and help facilitate their recovery. Working in such a compassionate area of law is very fulfilling and I have seen first-hand by working closely with my Head of Department that a Personal Injury lawyer can help vulnerable people come to terms with traumatic and sometimes tragic accidents.

Personal Injury is also an area of law where there is the chance to work with a wide variety of people from varied backgrounds. It also means liaising with barristers and medical experts and working at the forefront of disputes between injured people and those accused of enabling the injury by negligence. Personal Injury lawyers, put simply, help clients to gain compensation for injuries suffered in accidents. Claims are extremely varied and can be in relation to:

  • road traffic accidents
  • accidents at work
  • industrial diseases
  • public liability claims such as those against the local authority for slips and trips on the highway and against companies and businesses for failing to ensure their premises are safe for visitors.
  • Criminal Injuries
  • Fatal accidents and
  • Many other circumstances where people are injured as a result of another’s negligence

Claims range in value from £1,000 to multi-million pound claims for catastrophic injuries.

What my role as a trainee involved.

As a Personal Injury Trainee, I have seen every aspect of a claim from start to finish and have been heavily involved with investigations. I have been involved in collecting and verifying the initial details of the claim directly from the client, preparing the initial documents including funding paperwork, taking detailed witness statements from clients and witnesses, drafting and submitting claims on the Ministry of Justice Online Portal, instructing barristers to advise and medical experts to prepare independent reports, documenting the expenses and financial losses, conducting research to identify the value of claims and negotiating settlements successfully.  In cases where liability is denied or settlements cannot be agreed, Court proceedings are then issued and the case is prepared for a trial.

My time in the department has demonstrated the importance of being compassionate and empathetic with clients’ circumstances and being genuinely interested in resolving their problems so that the very best outcome is reached. I have realised how much Personal Injury lawyers require creativity and excellent negotiation skills in order to get excellent results for clients.

I have had the opportunity to work closely with the Head of Department who has given me work to do and closely supervised me. I have had the opportunity to assist on significantly high value cases and also conduct my own matters. The best part of the job has been getting to know the injured clients and their families well during the course of their claims.

It is extremely challenging and intellectually stimulating. It has been demanding but also very satisfying. I would strongly recommend any future Trainee undertakes this seat as it has been a great privilege to work in this field and I will take the skills I have learned with me throughout my future legal career in litigation.

Want to know more about becoming a trainee at T&E. Click here to view our online brochure. 

 

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