Personal injury and accident lawyers are specialists
who work in the particular field of law which is personal injury claims.
In the UK, there are two main categories of accident lawyers: barristers and solicitors. A solicitor’s role is to find out the needs of the client, research his case and the law and advise on appropriate courses of action. He also has to prepare and gather documents to support the case. A solicitor joins a firm as a junior and works his way up through the partnership. A barrister advises a client on the strength of their case and offers strategies. He also represents the client in court and negotiates settlements with the other side. When called to the Bar, a barrister is known as a ‘junior’. After a number of years a junior may become a Queen’s Counsel (QC), sometimes referred to as a ‘silk’, a traditional reference to the silk gowns they wear.
To train for a legal career, it is normal to take a degree course in Law, followed by a Legal Practice Course, which is like a post grad degree, before joining a firm of solicitors. As a trainee solicitor, the new recruit will sit in on client meetings, do research and draft legal documents.
A solicitor in a firm of accident lawyers will have as much contact with the general public as with firms and organisations. Accident lawyers perform one of two roles. They can opt to specialise in either bringing the claims or defending them and each role requires quite different strategies.
A solicitor in any field of law will need to keep up to date with changes in the law, since law reflects society; it is dynamic and always changing and being tested in the courts. In April 2013, significant changes are coming into force with respect to accident and injury compensation law procedure and charges. The rest of the year will undoubtedly see a number of cases in which the workability of the new amendments is tested and the legal sector and media will no doubt analyse the outcomes with interest.
Date Published: March 12, 2013
Author: David Brown