What does a personal injury lawyer handle?
What is the role of a personal injury lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers are civil litigators who represent clients – commonly referred to as plaintiffs – alleging psychological or physical injury as result of negligence or careless acts by another person, company, entity, government agency or organization. Personal injury lawyers practice in an area known as tort law. This area of law specializes in civic or private wrongs or injuries, monetary or nonmonetary damages. This includes defamation and actions of bad faith or breach of contract to a person’s reputation, rights or property.
Although personal injury lawyers are armed with licenses to practice in all facets of law, they usually handle cases falling within tort law, such as work injuries, flawed products, accidents caused by slips and falls, road accidents and other related accidents. Personal injury lawyers help their clients secure compensation for losses incurred. These losses include the loss of capacity to earn, inability to perform normal duties, suffering, and pain. They also include expenses that may arise, the loss of companionship, legal costs, emotional distress and attorney fees.
The attorney will ensure clients are safe from being victimized by companies that offer insurance and the established legal system. Personal injury lawyers are often referred to as trial lawyers, although most of their cases are settled before going for a full trial.
What are the duties of a personal injury lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers have many duties in aiding their clients. These duties include both ethical and professional codes of conduct and rules provided for by the associations that license the lawyers. Once the state bar association licenses them to practice law, the lawyers can file complaints in court, argue cases, prepare legal documents and offer professional legal advice to plaintiffs of personal injury.
Personal injury lawyers have the sole responsibility for talking to and interviewing clients and assessing their cases. They further identify the pertinent issues within the client’s case, and thereafter conduct research to build a solid case. The most important professional mandate of a personal injury lawyer is to help clients obtain the compensation and justice they deserve after undergoing losses and suffering. This is done through client counseling, advocacy, legal advice and oral arguments. The case normally heads for trial when both parties fail to reach an amicable settlement.
Personal injury lawyers are expected to follow strict set principles of legal ethics when executing their mandate with clients. While the specified guidelines vary from state to state, each lawyer is expected to evaluate legal issues while exercising due diligence in any legal matter commenced. They owe plaintiffs the onus of confidentiality and allegiance as they work to protect their client’s best interests and not their own.
Discusses Your Claims With Insurance Companies
If you’re in an auto accident both your auto insurance carrier and the other driver’s liability carrier will want to talk to you. If it’s a premises fall or an on-the-job injury, a general liability or workers compensation carrier will want information. They’ll all want recorded statements.
- To control the flow of information that might undermine your claim, your lawyer will refuse the liability carriers’ requests.
- As your auto insurance policy and applicable workers compensation carriers require cooperation, your attorney will either arrange and supervise your statement or coach you ahead of time on what to say or not say.
- Additional conversations with your insurance companies may cover medical bill payments, auto repair, health insurance subrogation rights, and basic liability discussions.
What does a personal injury lawyer handle?
Almost any case a personal injury lawyer handles falls under tort law. In tort cases, the main goal is for an injured person to be compensated financially or “made whole” for all losses stemming from an accident or other incident caused by another person’s carelessness or intentional conduct. In a personal injury lawsuit, the financial compensation is also called “damages.” Personal injury cases are handled by personal injury lawyers in civil court.
In a personal injury claim, the types of damages that are available can vary depending on the type of case, the circumstances of the victim’s injury and state laws. In general, compensation may cover lost wages, present and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, wrongful death, punitive damages, and more. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help estimate what a case is worth.
Personal injury cases typically involve a private individual filing a civil “complaint” against another person, business, corporation or government agency, alleging that they acted negligently or irresponsibly in connection with an accident or injury that caused harm.
Personal injury covers a wide variety of different situations:
Accidents. Personal injury rules apply in situations where someone acts in a negligent manner, and that carelessness causes harm to another person. Examples include car accidents, workplace accidents, slip and fall accidents, elevator accidents, construction accidents, and medical malpractice, among other types of cases. Personal injury lawyers may also handle workers’ compensation claims.
Intentional Acts. In these situations one person’s intentional conduct causes harm to another person. Examples of intentional acts include assault and battery, sexual assault, and road rage.
How do personal injury lawyers level the playing field?
When you have any kind of injury claim, there is typically an insurance company on the other side. This puts you at a disadvantage, because:
- Insurance companies have a large legal department working against you.
- Their incentive is not to help you. It’s to pay you the least money possible.
They will use the law against you and find ways to minimize or avoid paying you. This can include legal loopholes, questionable interpretation of the event that caused your injury, or twisting your own words against you. If you are not a trained lawyer, it’s very hard to file the right documents to fight them—or even, in some cases, to know what evidence will help you most.
But the equation changes when you have a lawyer of your own. Your lawyer is your advocate, using the law to help you get the largest financial recovery possible. They understand the tactics the insurer uses, and how to fight them. In many cases, simply having a lawyer immediately changes the way you are treated by the insurance company.
Assessing the Situation
A personal injury lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for your injury, and how they should be held responsible. They can help you figure out if you will be dealing with WSIB or an insurance company.
You may not know your rights, or how much compensation you deserve, but a lawyer can help you figure this out, depending on what type of case you have. If you haven’t been through it before, you might not know what to expect from the process, but your lawyer will explain how it all works and help you to understand the timelines, as well what kind of results you should anticipate.
Protection and Sound Advice
A lawyer can ensure you don’t do anything to jeopardize your case, but work towards the best possible results instead. Your lawyer will advise you on legal and ethical issues regarding your injury and accident, providing you with information you might not be able to access anywhere else.
Paperwork, Forms and Evidence
By having a lawyer on your side, all of the relevant evidence will be gathered, the paperwork will be handled, and the witnesses will be interviewed. Your lawyer can tell you the time limitations on filing a suit, which means the sooner you hire a lawyer, the better. Whether your case goes to trial or is settled out of court, having the peace of mind that a lawyer provides is so important.
Personal injury lawyers fight for your rights. By assessing your case and determining the best way to pursue results, your lawyer will make sure you are compensated with dignity.