If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you may be wondering whether or not you need a personal injury attorney and, if so, what they do. Personal injury lawyers manage their clients’ claims throughout every stage of the process, acting as trusted advocates along the way.
The responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer range from gathering evidence and filing legal documents to helping injury victims get financial compensation for their injuries that are due to the fault of another.
If you’re wondering what a personal injury lawyer can do for your accident case, keep reading. We have outlined everything personal injury lawyers do below.
Understanding Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law (tort law) protects citizens or their property from injury or damages. These types of laws allow individuals to take action when a reckless or careless party causes them harm. The party filing the suit, known as the plaintiff, can demand financial compensation from the at-fault party, known as the defendant, or their insurance provider.
A personal injury lawyer practices in the area of tort law. They provide legal representation for those who suffered injuries at the hands of others. Personal injury attorneys interview witnesses, collect evidence, and demand that the liable party or parties compensate the plaintiff for their losses.
To do this, personal injury lawyers must perform a careful and thorough investigation of the unique facts and circumstances of each case and determine fault and the full extent of your physical, emotional and financial damages.
They must also know how to research different laws and apply them to each client’s unique situation. Finally, reputable attorneys possess excellent communication skills and are masters at presenting convincing arguments based on their case investigations.
Civil Law vs. Criminal Law
Personal injury lawyers pursue compensation from negligent parties using the Civil Law. A negligent party under the Civil Law does not face criminal penalties for their negligent behavior. In some instances however, the same accident case can result in both criminal penalties under the Criminal Law as well as civil penalties in a personal injury action.
A personal injury attorney does not seek to punish defendants with jail time or felony charges. Instead, they help their clients recover compensation for losses related to their accident injuries, such as medical bills, property damages, and wrongful death.
On the other hand, criminal lawyers defend their clients against allegations. They aim to dispute or dismiss any charges they are facing.
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What Kinds of Cases does a Personal Injury Lawyer Handle?
Personal injury attorneys handle civil lawsuits involving negligence. Negligence occurs when a person or entity fails to exhibit reasonable care that prevents others from harm. It includes both intentional and accidental actions.
Cases involving negligence that a personal injury lawyer may handle include:
- Motor vehicle accidents (including car, truck, commercial vehicle, and motorcycle collisions)
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Workplace and construction accidents
- Premises liability (such as a slip and fall)
- Medical malpractice claims
- Wrongful death cases
- Defective product claims
- Traumatic brain injuries
During the personal injury litigation process, your lawyer will help you establish liability for your injuries. They collect evidence to prove your losses and seek financial compensation in the form of damages. Thus, when handling a personal injury claim, your attorney becomes a trusted partner who you can rely on to hold liable parties accountable for negligent behavior.
Injury Lawyers Help You Understand Your Legal Options
It can be overwhelming to understand the steps you need to take to file an injury claim, your state’s statute of limitations, and the different factors that could affect your case. However, a personal injury attorney can step in, explain your rights, and walk you through the civil litigation process.
In addition to helping you better understand your options, a personal injury attorney can also provide sound legal guidance. For example, they can prevent you from giving a statement to the liable driver’s insurance company or advise you to seek medical treatment to document your accident injuries. All of these actions can make it easier for you to recover compensation.
Most importantly, a personal injury attorney is an unbiased third party. They provide legal advice that is not clouded by frustration, stress, or anger. This allows your legal representative to help accident victims make the best possible legal decisions for their future.
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Personal Injury Attorneys Build a Strong Claims
Once you hire an injury law firm, your attorney will take action to build a strong case. To do this, they will use four factors to establish negligence and liability. They are:
- Duty of care: The at-fault party possessed a duty of care to act in a reasonably safe manner.
- Breach of duty: The liable party neglected their duty of care through careless or reckless actions.
- Causation: The at-fault party’s negligent behavior caused or contributed to the accident.
- Damages: The accident caused you to suffer physical and emotional injuries.
In order to establish the four factors to build a claim, legal professionals collect evidence to support the claim. For example, they might gather medical documents, accident photos or video footage, and police reports to strengthen your case.
A lawyer will also consult with medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and witnesses to prove how the negligent party caused your accident.
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Personal Injury Law Firms Negotiate With Insurance Companies
An attorney will analyze your total losses and the strength of your claim to work towards a fair and reasonable personal injury settlement.
If the opposing side and your lawyers do not agree as to the amount of compensation in your case, your legal representative may choose to proceed to a trial in Court. Your trial may be with a jury or without. At trial, evidence will be presented as to the full nature of your physical, emotional and economic damages.
Economic damages are tangible losses you suffered due to the accident. Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering or emotional consequences from your injuries. Examples of these types of damages you may be entitled to include:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing care expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering for all physical and emotional injuries
- Property damages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Wrongful death
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Personal injury lawyers protect accident victims by helping them collect fair compensation for their injuries. They allow victims to focus on healing from their accident injuries while demanding financial compensation from liable parties and insurance companies.
Navigating a personal injury lawsuit on your own is challenging. Not only can it be difficult to secure evidence to strengthen your claim, but insurance companies are more likely to offer you a sum of money that is significantly less than you are actually entitled to recover.
An experienced personal injury attorney is more likely to understand the full value of your claim.They are vigilant, knowledgeable, and dedicated to securing fair and reasonable compensation for their clients. If another party caused you damages, you should partner with a personal injury attorney. Without one, you may not recover the compensation you deserve for your trauma.
How Much does Hiring a Personal Injury Cost?
In some cases, accident victims do not hire a personal injury lawyer because they are unsure if they can afford their services. But most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. Rather than charge by the hour, accident injury lawyers provide legal services to clients without up-front fees.
By operating on a contingency, personal injury attorneys take a percentage out of your final settlement as their payment. That means that they don’t get paid unless you recover compensation. .
Partner With a Personal Injury Lawyer Near You
If you sustained injuries due to another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, a personal injury lawyer from our firm can help you secure fair compensation. At Dansker & Aspromonte Associates, our personal injury attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injury victims since 1988.
We are ready to get to work on your case and help you obtain maximum compensation for your losses. Call us today for a free consultation. But don’t delay. There are deadlines that limit your rights. If you fail to file your claim by the applicable deadline, you could be prevented from recovering the compensation you deserve.