LEGAL CORNER: What is it like to be a personal injury lawyer?

We work with brave people whose lives have been changed dramatically by the injury they have sustained.

Our first aim is to obtain early interim payments to cover daily living expenses and to fund rehabilitation costs.

Most insurers will help with interim payments at the outset if it is clear whose fault the accident was, but as more money is needed, it sometimes gets harder to persuade them to pay and in some cases you need to take the case to court.

In the meantime we will also be gathering evidence about the nature and extent of the injuries and losses.

This can be very technical and complex.

There may be a wide range of opinion about what is needed for our client’s treatment/rehabilitation or about what the future will hold for their condition.

We have to make sure the evidence we obtain from the experts we have selected is consistent, if that is possible, and ensure all the key issues are covered in their reports.

We need to make sure our client’s future needs (for the totality of the rest of their life) are met.

The team then has to deal with the evidence gathered by the defendants.

Experts don’t always agree! We have to find the best solution to this.

It is brilliant when you win and devastating if you lose.

You work with your client closely for several years and you see what they go through.

You work under constant pressure, perhaps from your client’s acute needs urgently needing to be met, or because of court deadlines which must be observed.

You have to prove your client’s case.

In the current climate, there is often mistrust of claimants, which we find is usually ill-founded.

It is amazing when you achieve

a good result for your client and there are numerous clients we will never forget.

We often become a trustee for our client’s trust funds which have been set up to protect their compensation, so we have a duty to make sure the money is well spent and invested wisely to make the money grow.

We see our clients have children, get married, become grandparents. We see some clients die.

Hopefully our work has helped provide for what our client needs.

It is a true privilege to be in that position.

By Claire Watson

Partner and Head of personal injury.

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George Ide, LLP

Solicitors of Chichester and Bognor Regis

Telephone 01243 786668

Email: observer@georgeide.co.uk