What is it about?

This article reveals some of the tactics which lawyers may use when conducting personal injury litigation. The research is empirically based by being drawn from structured interviews with a cross section of legal practitioners. This qualitative evidence helps to place the rules of tort in a wider context and suggests that tactical considerations may affect the outcome of individual cases irrespective of their legal merits. For example, how does the threat of prolonged delay or the fear of incurring substantial legal costs affect proceedings? A range of strategies are considered here to illustrate how they may be used at different points during the litigation. In addition, the article updates our understanding of the compensation system by considering the practitioners’ responses in the light of the major changes made to this area of practice in recent years. It reveals how negotiation tactics have developed since notable research in this area was last carried out more than twenty years ago.

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Why is it important?

Overall the article adds to a very limited literature dealing with negotiation and settlement of personal injury claims. The picture of litigation painted here runs counter to the misleading image of individualised court-based justice dispensed only by judges that is often portrayed as the defining characteristic of tort law.

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This page is a summary of: Tort tactics: an empirical study of personal injury litigation strategies, Legal Studies, March 2017, Cambridge University Press,
DOI: 10.1111/lest.12138.
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