Some days I finish work feeling like a wrung out dish rag, on other days, not that common, I feel exhilarated. The vast majority of claimants are cooperative, polite and have done some home work. There are a small group that can be particularly difficult. Many of these are people with whom I have great sympathy but their approach to the interview may be frustrating. Bear in mind that every plaintiff I see is meant to be given a list of the questions that I will be asking by their solicitor. (see for the list)
There are interviews that I find particularly taxing. These include interviews when I am seeing somebody who has done no preparation and is not able to provide even a reasonable history. There are other people who need to answer every question with a speech. Similarly there are those people who answer my question by answering another question I haven’t asked. There are also the people who are pissed off and are unwilling to divulge any information. Of particular difficulty are those, where for good reasons, there is concern about their credibility. These claimants are in a very small minority but nevertheless I sometimes feel the claimant and I are going through the motions.
Oh, of course there are those who right near the end of the interview (when I’m feeling done and ready for lunch) say something like “should I tell you about the sexual abuse when I was a child?” Or “did you want to hear about the accident that occurred a week ago?” and suchlike. Of course this is after I have asked all my usual questions about serious injuries, operations, accidents, WorkCover or accident claims, psychiatric or psychological treatment et cetera.. I can see lunch going out the window.
The other group that I dread seeing are those who have extremely complicated psychiatric histories often associated with drug and alcohol abuse and significant family problems. Even with the best will in the world these interviews can be extremely prolonged.
So what interviews leave me exhilarated? I see some people who have dealt with terrible injuries with extraordinary courage and resilience. I find them enormously impressive.
Are there any other types of claimants that you find particularly difficult?