What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?October 23, 2020
Personal injuries cause more than physical pain. They cause emotional stress, fear, and they can drastically change your life. Personal injury lawyers help their clients financially recuperate medical bills and physically recover from injuries. They also guide you through the trying legal process and make sure you can get back to your everyday life.
Personal injury law is a specific variant of “Tort” law. Personal injury lawyers represent clients who allege a psychological or physical injury resulting from negligence or careless acts by other people, companies, entities, government agencies, or organizations.
Let’s take a closer look into what personal injury lawyers do and how they can help you put your injuries in the past.
What is Tort Law?
Most civil lawsuits that do not involve a contract will be decided by tort law. There are three types of personal injury tort law: intentional tort, negligence, and strict liability. An intentional tort is a form of deliberate wrongdoing, as in the case of assault and battery. But intentional torts are not always criminal and can be civil if the culprit commits transgressions against personal property or an individual’s well-being.
Negligence is by far the most common form of tort law. Everyone has a set of standards they need to follow when interacting with fellow human beings or groups, and negligence results when they don’t adhere to those standards. Negligence is unlike intentional tort because it is not deliberate, but rather, harm caused by oversight or a failure to provide a duty.
The final example of personal injury tort law is strict liability. Strict liability tort involves cases where there is no direct proof of either intentional or negligent wrongdoing. The most common type of strict liability tort involves defective product cases. In strict liability cases, the plaintiff only has to establish the product-in-question caused by their injury.
Personal Injury Lawyers Perform Complex Duties
Determining property damages is one thing, but monetizing damage to a human being is another. As Joseph Sindell says in his 1960 essay published in Case Western Reserve’s Law Journal, “It is considerably more difficult to evaluate the pain and suffering of a human being than an inanimate object. Attorneys attempting to gain injury compensation must understand the nature of the human-machine – a machine more perfect and complex than any yet designed by man.”
Paul Wilkinson Law Firm doesn’t reduce people to numbers. We make sure the legal system takes all of your pain into account.
When you’re healing, the last thing you want to deal with is trying to figure out how to respond to insurance companies and medical bills. You may also be worried about how you’re going to pay your lost income if you can’t work.
Personal injury lawyers relieve your stress by simplifying the legal process and dedicating themselves to your recovery and well-being. Throughout the case, investigation and discovery, negotiating with insurance companies, and if necessary, taking your case to trial, personal injury lawyers hold your hand to make the legal process as comfortable as possible.
How Can a Personal Accident Lawyer Help Me?
It’s common to think of personal accident attorneys helping you in the courtroom. However, the majority of their responsibilities are outside of the courtroom. The following section discusses those duties in detail.
Case Discovery and Investigation
Preparing the right settlement for your case depends heavily on the investigation and discovery phase. Personal injury lawyers investigate your case and compile evidence by hiring expert witnesses on your behalf.
Lawyers have different methods for conducting their investigation. Some hire other investigators, and some conduct the investigation themselves. Investigators interview witnesses, gather on-scene evidence, examine police and employer reports, and compile vehicle photos. If there were adverse conditions at the site where you sustained your injury, personal injury lawyers would also archive those.
If authorities did not document the accident with photo or video evidence, the investigator would travel to the accident site to do so. Some examples of evidence that authorities often overlook are skid marks and accident debris.
The investigation process also includes your medical bills and records. Your attorney will need access to your medical records and statements to build your case and hold the insurance company accountable. Because personal injury cases involve sensitive information such as your medical bills, you’ll want to hire an attorney with whom you feel comfortable.
The final part of the investigation process is attorneys collecting witness statements and performing depositions. Depositions are under-oath interviews with witnesses that strengthen your case. Without these statements, building your case is very difficult.
Correspondence With Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies is the last thing you want to do after an accident. Regardless of your type of injury, be it an auto accident, premises fall, or on-the-job injury, insurance companies will want recorded statements. The flow of information in these interactions can undermine your claim.
There are a few ways personal injury attorneys protect your case from insurance company interference. Personal injury attorneys can refuse insurance companies’ interview requests by acting as an insurance attorney. They also provide valuable coaching for when you issue statements.
Detecting Product Flaws
Personal injury attorneys will do everything they can to uncover product flaws in strict liability cases. If a defective product caused your injury, attorneys research to find any prior lawsuits. Trying to obtain product testing reports is challenging if you’re not an attorney.
If a defective product injures you, the company or liable insurance agency may try to hide flaws by tampering with the product. For this reason, you must obtain testing on the defective product quickly. If you aren’t an attorney, it’s challenging to get such tests. Attorneys ensure an industry expert inspects the product in question right away.
Handling Financial Compensation
Personal injury attorneys take your financial compensation seriously. They ease your economic concerns by contacting your employer to discover lost wages and estimate your injury’s total damages.
Your settlement shouldn’t only account for initial damages. It should also account for future medical bills and lost income. Personal injury lawyers understand how to estimate those total costs accurately, protecting you from insurance companies minimizing your financial strain.
Explaining Your Rights
Personal injury laws vary from state, so having an expert explain them is crucial to getting the most out of your case. Colorado uses comparative negligence for accident and injury cases to determine your entitled compensation.
Comparative negligence assigns fault as a percentage. For example, if the court determines you’re 10% at fault for your accident or injury, you’re entitled to 90% of the total compensation. Having a personal injury attorney take your case ensures you only take the blame for what was your fault.
Guiding Legal Decisions
Good personal injury attorneys consult you through the legal process with your best interest in mind, giving you the control to make the decisions in your best interest. The most common guidance personal attorneys can offer is teaching you how to deal with insurance companies trying to pay as little as possible.
After an injury, you have every right to be upset. But anger, fear, sadness, and uncertainty cloud judgment skills. Personal injury lawyers serve as a calming influence so that you can make sound decisions with a level head.
The majority of cases settle outside of court, but if you go to trial, do you want the responsibility of defending yourself? Insurance companies can deny your claim, and in these cases, having a personal injury lawyer puts you in the best position to fight the case in civil court.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Who Cares About You
Litigation may not be rocket science, but it’s close. Having a trained professional who can compound evidence and navigate legal procedures gives you the best chance at securing the compensation you deserve.
The Paul Wilkinson Law Firm focuses on your continued well-being. We fight for your rights and ensure insurance companies don’t take advantage of you while you’re in recovery. By arming you with the right knowledge to understand the personal injury claims process, we put you in the best position to receive the settlement you deserve.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, reach out to our expert attorneys at our firm to set up a free initial case consultation where we will offer our honest assessment of your claim. Reach out to us via our Contact Page today to see the many ways we can help.