At the Brain Injury Group we work hard to ensure that people who need a solicitor, have access to a personal injury solicitor with a focus on brain injury and with the experience and expertise to be able to support and assist in this complex area. As such, we provide brain injury training for health professionals, case managers and solicitors within the personal injury sector. This article has been written with those people in mind.
When the country was put into lockdown in March 2020, many sectors were forced to very quickly find new ways of working – some would argue that for those of us whose work is office based, the switch to home working was one of the easiest – whilst many industries had to close down entirely or completely scale back production, we grabbed our laptops and set up office on our kitchen tables, sofas, and even our ironing boards (top tip: if you need a height adjustable desk – use your ironing board!).
Working from home for anyone brings its challenges, not least creating a divide between work life and home life which suddenly collided in March – I’m sure we’ve all experienced children walking in whilst on an important video call, the dogs who won’t stop barking at the postman just as you go live with a webinar, the broadband failing just when you have an important email to send – 8 months on we all now accept these as part of the new normal.
Has working from home made personal injury litigation more efficient?
There have been numerous hands up polls on Linked In about whether people would like to remain working from home, return to the office, or a mix of both post pandemic, with the general view seeming to be a mix of both, but even if we return to the office, will we move entirely away from this new online way of working?
New research carried out by Exchange Chambers and Calvert Reconnections indicates that personal injury litigation has become more efficient during the Coronavirus pandemic. Remote hearings, case management conferences and joint settlement meetings are the new normal – but are they here to stay? If we return to working at the office, do we want to return to face to face meetings and trials, often spending more time travelling to the meeting, than we actually spend in the meeting?
In their poll of 179 personal injury solicitors, they asked the question moving forward and irrespective of Covid-19, should joint settlement meetings now take place remotely as the default position? 58% of respondents felt they should. And what about case management conferences – should the default there also be to take place remotely? A staggering 85% of respondents answered yes, they should take place remotely.
Are remote personal injury trials more effective?
When it comes to personal injury trials, perhaps unsurprisingly, 60% of respondents felt that low value trials should be held remotely as the default position, whilst just 3% believed high value trials were suited to being held remotely. The majority of solicitors who responded (62%) were also against mediations being held remotely as the default position.
Bill Braithwaite QC, Head of Exchange Chambers and trustee at the Lake District Calvert Trust believes that ‘traditionally, we have approached too many areas of our work in an old-fashioned, inefficient way’. He hopes that the wind of change blowing through the personal injury sector continues and gets stronger. He continues ‘Joint Settlement Meetings are just one example. Over the last few months, we have undertaken hundreds of settlement meetings within Chambers by video. They work. Yes, they are different from meetings in person but for negotiation it is usually enough simply to talk. I’m also encouraged by the move towards remote case management conferences. They are quicker, simpler, cheaper and at least as efficient.’
Work in the personal injury sector? Join the discussion, is remote working more efficient?
What are your views? Are we seeing a change for the better, will we revert to our pre-covid ways of working, or will we find a compromise somewhere in the middle?
Join the discussion with us on LinkedIn.
About Calvert Reconnections
Calvert Reconnections is part of the charity The Lake District Calvert Trust, set up in 1976 to enable people with disabilities to benefit from outdoor activities in the countryside. Their new rehabilitation facility for adults with an acquired brain injury (‘ABI’) will be open soon near Keswick, in the beautiful Lake District. Set in a converted Grade II listed building the focus is on ‘learning through doing in the outdoors’, combining clinical therapies and outdoor activities, including rambling, fell walking, fishing, gardening, horse riding, orienteering, cycling, canoeing and sailing.
For more information go to www.braininjurygroup.co.uk/services-a-z/calvert-reconnections-neuro-rehabilitation-centre/
About Brain Injury Group
Brain Injury Group was set up in 2011 to provide people affected by brain injury with a focal point to find people with specialist knowledge of brain injuries to assist them with legal, financial and welfare benefits advice.
In addition to our legal and welfare advice service, our popular website features an A-Z of services and goods specifically of interest to those affected by brain injury, their families and the professionals who support them.
Brain Injury Group is a provider of brain injury training to solicitors, case managers, health and social care professional on an array of brain injury topics. As of March 2020, we have been providing brain injury training webinars to replace in-person training events.
How we can help professionals
For professionals, the Brain Injury Group provides brain injury training events in person (when allowed) and in a webinar format with recordings available for a period of time after the live webinar. We have directories for legal professionals specialising in brain injury as well as a brain injury services directory showcasing companies providing services to those affected by brain injury.
More information and a full list of benefits for members can be found in our For Professionals section at: www.braininjurygroup.co.uk/for-professionals/
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