Writing in the Personal Injury Law Journal Bill Braithwaite QC, a barrister at Exchange Chambers, discussed what he thought were the major trends in personal injury law in 2014. We’ve picked out the key points from his review below and focused on how ASD provide this service to our clients.
Advocacy refers to the process a barrister takes to put their client’s case to the court in both written and oral form. Oral advocacy involves using skills in performance to persuade the court of an argument in a clear and concise manner.
“Good advocates don’t just turn up in court and argue a case before a judge or a jury… we advise how best to prepare a claim.”
What ASD do
Preparation is the key to a successful compensation claim which is why, wherever possible, the solicitors at ASD insist on a home visit to meet clients in person. By working with clients to gain as much information as possible, including evidence from witnesses, we ensure that our clients have the best chance possible of making a successful claim.
Caring for Clients
“Sympathy and understanding are so important for a claimant lawyer, but I suspect that one result of all the changes which are currently taking place in the personal injury market is that practitioners will not have the time or the money to be sympathetic and understanding.
“The more we have to turn catastrophic injury litigation into a business, the more we have to cut cost, the less we can spend on client care. I think it’s very sad, because I’ve spent my life working for solicitors who care for their clients and I’ve enjoyed being a part of that.”
What ASD do
We are a niche firm of specialist personal injury solicitors so we treat every case we receive with the attention it deserves. Working in this way means that the case is more likely to result in a successful compensation claim. Our team of solicitors’ expertise includes specialists in asbestos and industrial disease cases, serious injury cases and everything in between, so we have an expert for every type of case.
Many of our clients come to us feeling frustrated or scared about what will happen to them financially, not to mention that many of them are in great physical pain. At ASD, we provide an understanding and highly sympathetic service to clients and ensure they get the care they require while we fight to ensure they receive justice.
“I write quite a bit about experts – not surprisingly, as they are fundamentally important to the successful outcome of a case…A good expert, I think, should alert the lawyers to areas of investigation and it is common to see such recommendations.”
What ASD do
We work with medical specialists in the local area who are experts in their field and can diagnose and suggest treatment for a full range of injuries. A detailed medical examination and report can help to ensure a compensation claim is successful.
“It is so important to remember that injured people and families have choices, even within the constraints of litigation; for example, people in wheelchairs do not have to live in bungalows, however reasonable that may seem to an expert. I come across many examples of outsiders dictating to families what’s best for them; two recent ones are the selection of a builder to do extension work and the issue of employing support workers either directly, or through an agency.
“In each case, clients have the right to choose, although of course the choice does have to be informed and sensible.”
What ASD do
In many cases, an injury or an illness doesn’t just affect the person suffering but also their entire family – from family members acting as carers to the stress an injury can put on family finances. From the very first time we meet our clients, we assess not just how the accident or illness has impacted on them but how it has affected their loved ones. We listen to the client and their family and as Mr Braithwaite says, we always practice the principle that clients have the right to choose what care and resources are provided to them and their loved ones.
Management of Claims
“Good management of catastrophic personal injury litigation requires a clear view of how the claim can and should be presented to best advantage. For claimants, that means that the legal, medical and others with expert input, need to have a clear view of where they think they are going and how they want to get there.”
What ASD do
Communication between the legal and medical teams and the client is the key to a successfully managed claim, as the client has a right to know how the claim is progressing. At ASD, our team works directly with the clients, with no middlemen, so we understand our client’s needs and can guide them through every step of the claim.
“Measurable goals are becoming increasingly important… I think that, to set effective goals, one needs to analyse the rehab process in some detail. For example, if physio is part of the process, it should be possible to identify an ultimate goal, and all the steps needed to reach it.”
What ASD do
ASD work closely with Bush & Co and The Injury Care Clinic in Sheffield who have provided rehabilitation to patients recovering from injuries since 1996. The staff at the clinic offer immediate assessment to create a care plan tailored to your needs, including realistic goals, and they can also provide aids and equipment for use in the home. The costs for physio services are paid for by the insurer of the person or company who was at fault in the accident so come at no charge to the client.
Bill Braithwaite QC’s full article is available in the Personal Injury Law Journal in March 2015 under the title ‘Advocates Advice: Annual Review’.
For more information on ASD’s personal injury services call 0114 267 8780. To read more about these cases ASD have worked on read our Case Studies here.