legal practice areas

Personal injury and clinical negligence law

A personal injury lawyer deals with claims for compensation made as a result of accidents, diseases or the clinical negligence of the medical profession.

What does a personal injury lawyer do?

Law firms tend to specialise in either representing claimants (i.e. the injured party) or defendants.

Personal injury lawyers who represent claimants either work directly for an individual, or on their behalf through insurers or unions if their claim is related to their work. Those who specialise in defendant work often act on behalf of the defendant’s insurers. For example, the motor insurance company in the case of a car accident.

What skills are required?

A personal injury lawyer may be dealing with people who have suffered serious injuries or on behalf of the families of those who have died as a result of injury, disease or clinical negligence.

They need to be able to be empathetic to individuals and their families in difficult circumstances, whilst remaining professionally objective when fighting the client’s case in court.

As with many areas of the law, large amounts of written material need to be managed including case bundles and witness statements, so excellent time management skills are key. A natural interest in technology and medicine would be helpful in order to cope with the complex details of a case.

Being an excellent communicator and negotiator is important as personal injury lawyers need to work with clients from varied backgrounds including insurance company representatives, medical, other technical specialists and legal professionals.

Useful links

The following student guides have useful information on working in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence law: LawCareers.net, Chambers and Partners Student Guide and Target Law.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers – More information about the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence industry.

Personal Injury news can be found at The Lawyer and Law Gazette.