What You Need To Know About Lawyers
Most people have a favourite joke about lawyers, but the profession is not actually made up of conniving ambulance chasers or fat cats. Lawyers actually perform a very valuable role as the law is part of every aspect of our lives. Understanding more about lawyers will help you understand how their role in the world can affect everything from the age at which you can get a driving license to the speed that you can drive at.
The first thing to know about the profession is that it has traditionally been split into 2 different branches of barristers and solicitors. However, the legal landscape has become more complicated over the years with chartered legal executives, apprentices and paralegals. This is a trend which seems set to continue in the years to come. However, at this time, you should know about the 2 traditional roles that these professionals can find themselves in.
Solicitors will generally provide advice and help on all matters of the law. They will be your first point of contact when seeking any form of legal advice or representation. Most solicitors will work in a solicitor-owned law firm, but there are some who work for the local government or the central government. There are also solicitors in the law department of businesses and in alternative business structures which is a business that provides law services, but is controlled and funded by another company.
While it is possible for solicitors to be found in many areas of law, the fundamentals of their jobs will be the same. They will include a mixture of dispute work and advisory work including:
- Meeting clients
- Determining client needs and establishing how they can help
- Researching the relevant areas of the law
- Proposing a course of action
- Acting on behalf of the client in negotiations
- Occasional representation at tribunals or in court
Legal Representation from Personal Injury Solicitors
Your Guide To Legal Representation Associated With Personal Injury Lawyers and Claims
The process involved in obtaining compensation when you are injured is never straightforward and is usually difficult when you do not have experienced legal representation.
However, if your interested in making your own personal injury claim, and you do not want the assistance of a Personal Injury Lawyer, we have outlined the processes below along with the issues you are more than likely to encounter.
It is important to know that when you initiate legal action either against an individual or a company, and the claim is unsuccessful, you may be liable to pay the legal costs for the other party regardless of their legal representation.
Are you able to represent yourself in personal injury claims?
Yes, you can, and every person has the rights to pursue justice. If your not able to find legal representation that is suitable for the personal injury claim, you do have the choice to pursue this matter personally.
As you may be aware, you cannot just arrive at a court in order to argue the case before a judge. There are a number of Pre-Action Protocols that need to be followed before the case will reach a court of law. The protocols are designed to implement structure to these processes and allows both parties to come to an agreement before deciding to undertake legal proceedings which involves submitting the claim formally with a court.
Here is an overview that is generalised on a few steps that are typically undertaken involved in injury claims by Personal Injury Lawyers:
1. Claim Notification Form Or Letter Before Claim
This will involve sending information in detail to a party that you think is to blame. This letter needs to outline the accident circumstances, the injuries you sustained, any losses you have already experienced due to the accident and the reason as to why you think this party is was negligent or at fault.
2. Submit Evidence
The other party or a representative such as a solicitor or insurance company might then reply by either denying or accepting fault or liability, followed by requesting that you provide additional evidence involving your injuries and your losses. This can include invoices for vehicle repair, evidence that you have been away from work, the costs for your treatment, witness accounts and more.
Evidence obtained from an expert that is independent will also be a requirement to quantify and prove your claim. This type of expert evidence may be from specialist medical reports, or an engineer to make an assessment on the damages on each vehicle or an expert in machinery to confirm that the equipment in the workplace was faulty. It is standard that you will be required to pay for each one of these reports upfront in order to progress with your claim.
4. Valuing The Claim
You will need to attach a value in monetary terms for the entire claim and then present this amount to the opposing side. The value needs to include past & future losses and need to compensate you adequately for your suffering, pain as well as loss-of-amenity. This will typically involve going through any evidence of losses you have already experienced, making a calculation on your needs into the future and then studying court guidelines and previous case-laws to put a value on your injuries.
5. Court Proceedings
If a settlement agreement or admission for the liability is not reached, you will then need to issue the case at the right court. These processes are governed by what is known as the Civil Procedure Rules that outlines various steps, strict deadlines, court forms, and orders that need to be adhered to. This will also come with a number of court fees which you will be liable for upon submission.
Before the trial date, all your evidence needs to be prepared and arrange with any experts or witnesses that need to be there on the day. From here you should make a decision on paying either a Barrister to argue the case on your behalf or you can represent yourself.
If you achieve a settlement before the trial or after the trial, the other party will be forced to pay you the compensation amount agreed on and reimbursement for any other legitimate expenses such as expert reports or court fees you incurred making a claim in person. However, complications may still arise when the opposing side disputes the validity of any expenses, or when a court awards compensation that is less or equal to the offer which the other party made before it reached trial.
8. Losing Your Case
If you happen to lose the case that has reached trial, you may be accountable for paying the legal costs and any of their other expenses.
What Is A Litigant Person?
A person who is litigant is a term awarded to a person who represents themselves in a court room without legal counsel or a Personal Injury Lawyer and argues their own case.
The Bar Council that represents the Barristers in Wales and England, created a complete guide about representing yourself in courts that covers various types of civil law matters.
The Benefits Of Representing Yourself
Nobody will be able to explain the injuries you have sustained, or the impact is has had in your life better than you. However, this is an opportunity which can expressed in combination with experienced legal representation.
You might save a portion of the law fees when you do not hire a lawyer for your claim. Yet saving on these fees that are typically capped at 25% of the compensation should be weighed carefully against risks involved in under-settling the claim or the risk involved in having to pay legal costs should you lose.
What Are The Drawbacks?
There are a number of disadvantages when attempting to handle your own personal injury claim. This is because it is complex, time-consuming and associated with a number of pitfalls linked with the risks and costs involved. Yet the primary deciding factors also needs to consider:
Making A Claim That is Risk Free
When you hire a professional Personal Injury Lawyer they are bound by duty to act on your behalf and your very best interests. For this reason, through the No Win No Fee agreements, and after legal-expense insurance, your solicitor will never place you in a situation that you left worse off compared to not making a claim. If you decide to claim on your own and you lose, you lose compensation for the injuries you sustained, and you will probably be in a far worse position financially because you would have paid out for court fees, expert reports and even worse the other parties legal costs.
Personal Injury Compensation Claim Amounts
Do you know how to assign the right value to the claim? Do you know what the personal injury is worth? Have you remembered to calculate treatment costs that are ongoing, loss-of-earnings into the future, a lost gym-membership, the costs involved with family members having to take time off work to care for you or take you to appointments, etc. Trying to deal with your own claim might save you a bit on your legal fees, yet if you are then under-settled grossly, was it really worth it to do this on your own?
Specialists In Personal Injury Law
When deciding to take on your own personal injury claim, you need to deal with insurance companies as well as the defendant’s solicitor that will fight hard to prove the innocence of their client and that they are not responsible for your injuries. Or they will try their hardest to ensure your settlement amount is as low as possible. This is never a playing field that is level. When you instruct a specialist for legal representation, you give the claim a much better chance to achieve success. Your solicitor has the skills and experience to counter the arguments of the defendant, case law or tactics which they will probably present.
The Ideal Way To Handle A Personal Injury Claim
Event though you are free to deal with your own compensation claim, it is advised strongly to rather find specialised legal advice and then hire an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer who will fight for fair compensation for you.
The initial advice that you receive comes with no obligations, and if the lawyers thinks you have a case, you can pursue the claim risk free with a No Win No Fee arrangement.
It is not easy to be a solicitor, but most find it to be a rewarding job. Many of the people entering this profession will work their way up through the ranks of the business from a qualified solicitor to an associate and finally a partner. Most of this information can also be used when describing chartered legal executives.
Paralegals and chartered legal executives are also legal professionals who work in law firms. However, the route to these jobs does not require a university degree. This is something that you will need to have if you’r going to be a solicitor.
Barristers will be able to advise on certain legal issues and are able to represent their clients in court. They will be given their information and instructions through a solicitor and will generally be self-employed. When a barrister is not in court, they will be working in chambers to prepare the court case and arguments for their clients. Although barristers are able to work in many areas of the law, they will have fundamental elements to their job that does not change. This will include:
- Advising their clients on the legal aspects and the strength of their case
- Holding a conference with clients to talk about their case
- Represent their client in court which includes the presenting of the case and cross-examining witnesses
- Negotiating settlement with the other side of a case where the situation can be resolved outside of court
When the barrister is called to the Bar, they will be known as a junior. They will remain a junior until they have been made a Queen’s Counsel which is also known as taking the silk. A QC will be a senior barrister who has extensive experience in the legal profession and is regarded as having outstanding abilities. The majority of barrister will not become a QC.
The Areas Of Law
There are many different areas of law, but if you are looking at the broadest sense of this you can divide it into commercial work and private work. A commercial solicitor will be the professional that looks into a major loan by a bank to a corporation, but a private solicitor could be a personal injury lawyer. The different legal practice areas will be the same as different jobs as there is little which links the daily activities of a human rights solicitor with that of a corporate lawyer.
Corporate And Commercial Lawyers
A cooperate or commercial solicitor will advise businesses of all size from international corporations to small one person businesses. General company law may require solicitors to advise the company directors on rights and responsibilities. Corporate law will generally relate to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, demergers and share issues.
Criminal lawyers will advise and represent clients in court who have been charged with a crime. This could be anything from a minor motoring misdemeanour to a serious crime such as murder. Barristers will generally be called on to act for either the defence or the prosecution.
When working as a solicitor in this area of law, you will generally work on disputes which end up in the employment tribunals or in the High Court. You will also work on draft contracts of employment and the advisement of working hours. Your clients could be an employee or an employer. When working as a barrister in this legal area, you will appear on behalf of your client in either court or the employment tribunal.
Family lawyers will work on every legal matter which is related to marriage from separation to divorce to the legal issues which are related to children. Family matters will generally include the negotiation of financial agreements, inheritance issues and prenuptial contracts.
Human Rights Lawyers
This area of the law is very wide-ranging and will include asylum cases as well as immigration, privacy cases and international law issues. The clients in this area of law will range from low-income refugees and prisoners to large news organisations and governments.
Intellectual Property Lawyers
This area of law will protect the exploitation of intellectual ideas through trademarks, patents and copyright. IP lawyers will advise on issues such as infringement disputes and commercial exploitation. They will also deal with an agreement which deals with IP rights as part of a larger commercial transaction.
Private client layers will advise people on their financial affairs including inheritance tax planning, setting up trusts and capital gains tax. Private client lawyers will also handle a wide range of charity work.
Public law will cover the relationship between the government and people. This could mean that you have to challenge the level of care provided to a disabled person or advice the government on national infrastructure development.