Closely related to clinical and medical negligence, personal injury law falls under the broad umbrella of tort law – a legal specialism regarding civil wrongs, as opposed to criminal ones, that includes other niches such as product liability and libel.
Personal injury law concerns the physical, psychological or emotional injury caused to a claimant and the lawsuit they bring to court against the individual, business or organisation whose negligence resulted in the injury.
The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is for the claimant to receive monetary compensation for medical expenses, physical suffering, emotional distress, legal fees and income lost through the inability to work.
Personal Injury Lawyers are types of Litigators who provide legal advice and representation to clients who have sustained physical or psychological injury, as well as financial loss, after falling victim to the carelessness or negligence of an individual or organisation.
Personal Injury Lawyers are responsible for providing injured claimants with the legal advice, guidance and representation required to successfully win compensation. The general responsibilities of a Personal Injury Lawyer share similarities with those of a Litigator and usually include the following:
• Screening potential clients
• Investigating claims and gathering evidence
• Documenting injuries and expenses
• Calculating damages
• Interviewing witnesses
• Reviewing medical documents
• Drafting pleadings and motions
• Representing clients through trial
• Counselling clients throughout the entire claims process
• Protecting clients from insurance companies and the legal system
Defendant Personal Injury Lawyers, on the other hand, will attempt to limit or nullify liability and damages due from their client by demonstrating the culpability of the claimant during the accident or trying to reach a settlement out of court.
Due to the complexity of personal injury law, professionals practising in this area tend to specialise in niche areas of interest or expertise such as spinal injuries or motorcycle accident claims.
So, how do you become a Personal Injury Lawyer? The route to qualification is a broadly similar process to qualifying as a Lawyer or Solicitor in any other practice area.
Firstly, you must either complete a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree or an undergraduate degree in another subject followed by the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).
Following completion of your LLB or GDL, you must study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) before undertaking a personal injury focused training contract with a law firm.
For more details, check out our comprehensive guide on how to become a Solicitor.
Personal Injury Lawyer Skills
A successful career in this field of law also requires a particular skillset. Look at any Personal Injury Lawyer job description and you are likely to find some or all the below listed in the role requirements:
• Outstanding negotiation, communication and presentation skills
• Exceptional attention to detail
• Highly organised and analytical
• Strong relationship building and client facing skills
• High levels of empathy and patience
• The genuine desire to help people and solve problems
• Up to date understanding of legislation and regulation within personal injury
Findings from our 2021 Audience Insight Report indicate that the average Personal Injury Lawyer salary in the UK is £40,833 per year.
As in all roles, earning potential for Personal Injury Lawyers can vary depending on factors such as location, employer type, and experience level.
Personal Injury Lawyers in our audience also reported a range of benefits including private healthcare, enhanced pensions and gym contributions. Around one third of Personal Injury Lawyers are offered a bonus on top of their basic earnings.
We hope that our Personal Injury Lawyer Job Description article has shed some light on the role and helped you to make an important career choice.
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