Personal Injury law – what it means in practice
In my field of work at George Ide LLP, I focus on larger value personal injury claims. My aim is to get a fair settlement providing a reasonable level of compensation for my clients, as early as possible. The claims process can be extremely stressful – clients have been badly injured and are having to get used to a new way of life, and many do not feel they can ‘move on’ until their case has been successfully settled.
My first step is to gather as much evidence as possible to establish my clients’ reasonable lifetime needs. This involves liaising with doctors for a final prognosis and identifying the extent of rehabilitation they will need to live a full life; I then negotiate to obtain as much of the money they’ll require as possible.
I take detailed statements from clients, their families, and friends to establish how the accident has affected them and to ascertain what help and support has already been given; in many cases I am able to claim much of the cost of providing this care. As well as documents to prove what my clients have had to spend as a consequence of their injuries, I also gather evidence to prove what ongoing care, special accommodation, aids, or equipment they may need, and to show what their lifetime needs will be – to prove for example why they are no longer able to earn, why their earnings will be diminished, or how their employment prospects have been damaged.
As soon as I can prove my clients’ needs, I hold settlement discussions and guide them through the process, offering advice on the various settlements that may be available to them and ensuring they have all the information they need before choosing to accept or reject any offer. If we have to go to court in order to obtain a fair amount, I guide my clients through this process too.
I do my utmost to support all my clients throughout their claim and to make sure that, at the end of the process, they have achieved what they need in order to be able to live as well as possible. I cannot take away the effects of their accident, but I can act to protect their future. It is truly a privilege to do this work and to help my clients move on.
And, for the record, no client I know would choose keeping their settlement over avoiding their accident in the first place.
Claire Watson. Partner & Head of Personal InjuryGeneral, George Ide, News, Personal Injury Blog