Personal Injury Reforms: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on 4/11/2019 by Joseph Shenton

Over the last few years, the security of the personal injury industry has undoubtedly been an area of concern for solicitors, fee-earners and paralegals working within this sector of the legal profession. Despite the turbulence within government and the upcoming general election, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it is continuing to work towards April 2020 to implement the so-called ‘whiplash reforms’.

I regularly speak with candidates who are looking to take their next step but have hesitations about staying within (or moving into) personal injury.

Earlier this year, I gave an insight into the state of the market for those handling Road Traffic Accident Claims, the volume of which will be affected when the industry reforms eventually come into force. This time around I thought I would share with you the most common questions I’m asked from not just RTA fee-earners but the personal injury lawyers I work with.

Is the personal injury sector a stable area of the market?

The sector will soon be going through a period of significant change, but unfortunately, people will continue to become injured as a result of negligence and, in most cases, require the services of a personal injury lawyer. Even though following the implementation of the Civil Liability Bill, a proportion of RTA cases will go through the small claims court instead of being dealt with by personal injury solicitors, cases involving vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists will continue to be handled by law firms.

How will the reforms affect my job prospects?

The extent to which your prospects will be impacted will depend upon the area of personal injury you work in.

If you are an RTA fee-earner or litigator, you’re probably aware of law firms who closed or reduced the size of their RTA department. However, many of the firms I work with are continuing to recruit at the same rate and some are even growing their RTA teams. It’s worthwhile speaking to a legal recruiter with specialist knowledge, like me, who can give you an overview of the market and your options.

The firms committing to expanding RTA are able to do so as they are now enjoying consistent flows of good quality non-CMC work. These claims typically relate to vulnerable road users or a higher value, more complex fast-track claims.

If you typically deal with higher value claims such as serious injury cases or EL/PL cases, you are arguably in a stronger position. Many of the firms who have stepped away from RTA work are growing their other departments which deal with cases that won’t be affected by the reforms. 

How are firms responding to upcoming reforms?

As I explained in my earlier blog most forward-thinking law firms have taken steps in an attempt to future-proof their businesses and so are not concerned about industry reforms. From diversifying their offering for clients to investing in their EL/PL and catastrophic injury departments, law firms are preparing for the RTA reforms and to solidify their position within what is one of the most competitive areas of the profession.

Are you looking to make a move within personal injury?

To learn more about the market or our current vacancies within personal injury, please feel free to get in touch for a confidential conversation or explore our latest roles. Call Joseph Shenton on 03300 245 606 or email joseph.shenton@realmrecruit.com.

Joseph specialises in recruiting personal injury solicitors, including EL/PL Fee earners, RTA Litigators and catastrophic injury lawyers, across Manchester and the North West and so is perfectly placed to help you take your next step.

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