Overview of a barrister's work in personal injury cases
Personal injury is a large and growing area of civil litigation with many solicitors' firms and barristers (including myself) now offering to take cases on a "no win, no fee" basis.
Winning a personal injury case will not usually depend upon lengthy legal argument but rather upon the sufficiency and presentation of evidence to establish certain key facts.
Identifying exactly what facts have to be proved, and deciding how best that can be achieved, is one of a barrister's most important roles in personal injury work.
Expert witnesses will often be employed to assist the court on technical or medical issues, but in order properly to present a case in court a barrister must always have a good understanding of the material with which the expert witnesses are dealing. For this reason it is sometimes said that a barrister must be ready to become something of an expert in almost anything.
Most personal injury cases will settle without going to court and a barrister's view will often be sought on the value of a claim so as to ensure that the client's best interests are protected by making an appropriate offer of settlement as early as possible. The assessment of damages in personal injury cases can be (for "can be" read "is") more of an art than a science. A barrister will compare each case against figures compiled by a panel of judges (the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines) and against awards which have been made in other cases, before using his or her own professional judgment and experience to put a figure on the value of a claim.
Whilst covering all kinds of personal injury claims, my own work mostly involves cases where chemicals, vehicles or machinery are involved or where accidents have happened at work. I am also a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers "APIL".
Typical examples of my past cases include:
The transportation and storage of chemicals, COSHH etc.
Exposure to toxic agents at home and at work (including carbon monoxide cases)
The use of machinery and equipment in workplaces including construction sites, factories, boatyards, docks and farms
Defects in or poor maintenance of vehicles, machinery and equipment (domestic and work related)
Accidents on fairground rides
Defective products generally and the Consumer Protection Act.
For more about my other work click another category: