Lawyers who specialise in cases involving personal injury may work on behalf of claimants or defendants. If working for a defendant there is less likelihood of dealing with them directly, but more often they will receive instructions through a third party such as an insurance company.
Personal injury lawyers may work on cases which relate to a number of different areas
These can be
• Medical negligence – for example if an individual has suffered ill health due to poor treatment whilst in hospital
• Public liability – if, for example a person trips due to poor maintenance of pavements
• Employer’s liability – if an employee suffers harm whilst at work due to the negligence of the employer
• Accidents which occur on the road
Personal injury lawyers have a varied and interesting job, spending time in court hearing evidence and meeting with and interviewing clients.
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Recently new legislation has been drafted which aims to make the process of pursuing or defending a claim more streamlined. With the rise in the number of people making claims increasing, partly attracted by legal firms’ high profile marketing campaigns, the costs to the judiciary have gone up. By introducing new procedures whereby cases can be settled more quickly and compensation rates which are more knowable in advance, costs can be cut.
The qualities required to succeed at this career are
• Tenacity and the ability to sift through paperwork in order to get the full picture
• Good people skills – lawyers will be meeting with a diverse group of people from many walks of life
• Excellent organisational skills – the ability to juggle sometimes many cases at once
• Good knowledge of the law and the ability to provide clients with clear advice using language they can understand