And now for something completely different!

Instead of looking at part of the law, like our usual blogs, here we focus on the lawyer – and get to know more about Catherine Reynolds, Truth Legal’s Head of Personal Injury.

Catherine is known to hundreds of clients and former clients as the diligent and knowledgeable lawyer who helped them through a difficult time and supported them in claiming for a personal injury. But that’s far from the whole story and, in this article, Catherine answers questions on what it’s like to be a personal injury lawyer and to lead Truth Legal’s exceptional personal injury team.

truth legal q&a

Catherine’s background

Catherine has been working in personal injury law since 2006, and qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2016. She came to Truth Legal in November 2017, having previously worked for a large trade union law firm.  Since 2018, she has also been taking on clinical negligence cases, working alongside Truth Legal’s dedicated clinical negligence team.

Q. What made you want to become a lawyer?

Catherine: I’ve always wanted a career where I can help others.  My first job was working for the NHS as a medical secretary which was extremely rewarding.  It’s always been important to me that, through my work, I can make someone’s situation better, either through compensation or getting them the rehabilitation they need.

Q. What do you love about working as a personal injury lawyer?

C: The people I get to meet and help.  It is immensely rewarding professionally to work with clients for a number of years. You get to take their journey with them, and see it all the way through to the end when their claim is settled. And I think that, by working so closely with my clients, they recognise all the hard work and effort I put in to get the right results for them.

Q. What do you dislike about working in law?

C: The changes to the law that make it harder for Claimants and their representatives.

It’s hard saying to people: ‘we can’t assist because we won’t get paid’, for example with Road Traffic Accidents which fall under the Whiplash Reforms. And the recent changes to fixed costs regimes (which limit the amount of legal fees that can be claimed from the Defendant) mean that a greater burden is placed on Claimants for their costs. For our team and for us as a business, these changes also make things harder as we’ve had to put new processes in place.  All of these changes do not benefit injured people in accessing justice.

Q. What have been some of your best experiences so far working at Truth Legal?

C: My best experiences include growing the personal injury team, and working with and helping to develop some very talented people. I’ve also worked on some very interesting cases, including some which have lasted for 5 years. It’s very rewarding to see a case through from inception to conclusion and the client being delighted with the result; it makes that 5-year battle and all of the hard work that went into it worthwhile.

Q. What law relating to personal injury would you change, and why?

C: The law in relation to fatal accidents and abuse claims. Not everyone who loses a relative is entitled to compensation. And for historic abuse claims, I believe that the limitation date should be removed.  Limitation dates can prevent people from making claims if too much time has elapsed from the event(s) they are claiming for. It’s unjust that victims of historic abuse should be prevented from claiming due to the passage of time as it usually the effects of the abuse which prevent them from coming forward. With harrowing, life-changing events like abuse, it takes a lot of courage just to speak about what happened, let alone make a claim.

Q. What does a typical working day look like for you?

C: A typical day is extremely varied.  One day I might be working on just one client’s matter and focused completely on that particular client.  Another day, I might be supervising the work of the personal injury team, or in team and marketing meetings.  Some days I will be attending conferences with barristers and working on a number of different matters.  I may be involved with a new client and taking instructions and the same day negotiating a settlement for a claim which I have been working on for several years.

Q. Is there anything you’d say to someone considering a personal injury claim?

C: Make sure you feel at ease speaking to your lawyer and that you feel able to develop a good working relationship with them at the outset.  Do your research and find the right lawyer and right firm for you.

When making your claim, evidence is key; so keep records, diary entries, photographs, video footage, receipts etc and keep in touch with key witnesses.

Don’t feel guilty about making a claim either, as it’s your right to do so and often by making a claim it can bring meaningful changes which avoid similar accidents from happening to anyone else. If you were injured in an accident at work for example, it might teach your employer’s lessons so that they improve safety in the workplace.

And in the vast majority of personal injury claims, it is an insurer who pays the compensation and costs of bringing a claim, not the individual or company involved.

Q. When you are not working, how do you spend your spare time?

C: I work extremely hard for my clients and reward myself by spending time with my family.  I am married with 2 sons and when I am not working I like to focus on spending quality time with them.  We enjoy walking and days at the coast with our chocolate Labrador.  I also enjoy running and going to the gym.

If you would like to speak to Catherine or one of her talented team about a personal injury claim, you can get in touch with us here.

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