A personal injury lawyer is a civil case specialist responsible for the legal representation of plaintiffs alleging psychological or physical injury cases. These injuries can result from negligence or a careless act of the individual, another person or entity, and the organization.
In case of injury incidences, the individual must contact a law firm to get the help they need. This is important if the side you are competing with, for the compensation, also has an attorney to their side. You can check out the Jersey City Law Firm for more information.
What is Tort Law?
Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law. This field covers injuries and unjust in both civil and private cases. It also considers cases comprising defamation and bad faith breaching of contracts.
Main Goal of Personal Injury Lawyers
The main goal of tort law practitioners is to help the plaintiffs in gaining compensations for losses. The plaintiff is subject to receiving the payment according to the nature of the damage they suffered. Some of these losses sustained by the affected individuals include an inability to work, medical expenses, pain, suffering, present and expected emotional distress, mental anguish, consortium or companionship loss, legal costs, and attorney expenses.
Personal Injury lawyers are also responsible for protecting the clients. The primary purpose of this protection is so that the clients do not fall victim to any insurance company and legal system.
Different Types of Personal Injury Cases
As mentioned earlier, personal injury law is an umbrella term for any case that involves a mind or body injury. A few prevalent types of cases handled by personal injury lawyers include;
- Automobile accidents
- Animal bite injuries
- Aviation accidents
- Sports injuries, such as those of boating, bicycling, and others
- Brain injuries
- Mass transportation accidents
- Burn injuries
- Any harm acquired by using a defective product
- Construction accidents
- Insurance claim scams
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse incidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents at work
- Different motorcycle types’ accidents
- A wrongful death
What is the Attorney responsible for?
Personal injury lawyers often juggle huge caseloads and work on stringent and inflexible deadlines. However, most lawyers consider it a rewarding practice since the victims and their respective families receive the justice they were deprived of.
Personal injury lawsuits are usually quite complicated. This is why the attorneys tend to often specialize in different disciplines of cases. This can be understood by the example that an attorney who deals with medical malpractice cases may specialize in breach births.
Another example is that of the lawyers who routinely practice motor vehicle accident cases. These lawyers may specialize in all-terrain vehicle rollover incidents.
The attorney handles the case by inception through an appeal and performs their duties like many other litigators. They evaluate the merits of their cases by screening potential clients and investigating different claims.
The attorney will collect evidence, research the case law and formulate legal theories. Their job also comprises sketching the pleadings, discovery requests and, motions. They also interview and depose different witnesses according to the requirements of each case. Details of these events will be discussed later in the article.
All the responsibilities mentioned above performed by the attorney contribute significantly to the trial preparation. Along with this, the lawyer will also advocate for their clients and counsel them before and even after the trial. They are also accountable for dealing with any hindrance in the legal system or presented by the individual’s opponents.
The sequence of Actions Performed by a Personal Injury Attorney
Although the sequence of events depends on the type of the case, a general series is followed by all attorneys. Let’s have a look at them;
- Claim Investigation
Since the attorneys are usually financing a case, they put great effort in screening potential issues and evaluating the claims’ merits, as mentioned above. The lawyers charge an attorney’s fees only when they secure a jury verdict because they will be paid on a contingency basis.
- Gathering the Required Evidence
To support the client’s allegations, the lawyer gathers potential evidence. These include procuring all police or event reports, tracking down the witnesses to get their statements, instructing a photographer to click pictures of the incident site, which will be used as a record later.
Any evidence related to the property damage is also included, along with CCTV footage. These pieces of evidence help establish a liability for the opponent responsible for the plaintiff’s harm.
Some other documents are also included in the pieces of evidence collected by the attorney. These include medical records and reports, employment documents and reports, and some bills.
- Conducting Negotiations with the Insurance Companies
The attorneys are responsible for negotiating with the insurance companies and reviewing the policy details. They also determine the maximum compensation available depending on the circumstances and the nature of the case.
By handling all the negotiations with the insurance companies, the attorney prevents the victim from doing anything that may jeopardize their claim. Such actions usually include things like giving a recorded statement and signing medical authorizations.
- Sending a Demand Letter
After a thorough investigation and evidence collection, the attorney will send a letter to the insurance company. This letter comprises facts that state the accident’s details and the total amount of damage that the victim acquired due to that accident.
- Preparing a Pleading
If the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement, the attorney is subject to preparing a complaint against them. The complaint comprises legal arguments on why the defendant is accountable for the damage to the victim.
The complaint also includes the amount required by the victim for the damage. The opponent, in this case, has thirty days to answer the complaint.
- Conducting a Discovery Procedure
The attorney might as well initiate a discovery procedure. The process comprises of sending interrogates to the defendant. These interrogators ask the opponents for certain necessary information.
This process also involves evaluating and deposing parties, experts and, witnesses. This is done to check their suitability for the case.
- Representation at the Trials
A personal injury lawyer will be responsible for representation if the case proceeds to a trial. Since the attorneys are well aware of the court procedures and customs, their presence will ensure that all the steps mentioned above are being followed correctly and carefully.
When is a Claim Jeopardized?
As discussed earlier in the article, the claim is put at risk under two conditions; if the victim gives a recorded statement or agrees on signing a medical authorization. Such incidences occur when the company negotiates directly with the victim and pressurizes them for a word or signatures on the medical authorization.
According to the general rules, the victim is not legally required to submit a statement or sign any medical authorization. If the company or the organization still asks for the report, it is not a positive sign.
If the victim denies submitting a statement, the organization may consider it a reason for not compensating the individual. Likewise, signing a medical authorization will allow the company to access all sorts of medical records.
This permission will risk the individual’s privacy as they will also gain access to the records that are not related to the accident. This is why the attorneys are responsible for the negotiations with the companies.
Some Personal and Professional Skills of Personal Injury Lawyers
Tort law practitioners usually excel in time management, negotiations, oral advocacy, maintaining a healthy balance between considerably demanding and less demanding cases and, client development. They handle the enormous amounts of stress and pressure quite well, which is essential if they are practicing on their own and are not associated with any organization or firm.
Due to this very reason, it is also recommended for inexperienced practitioners to join a firm before they decide to start their practice. This will allow them to comprehend the ins-and-outs of how different opponents approach different cases.
How are Personal Injury Attorneys Compensated?
The lawyers in this specialty will represent their clients based on contingencies. This means when the case is resolved, a part of the plaintiff’s compensation will be paid to the attorney. This typically ranges from between thirty to forty percent of the payment received.
According to this arrangement, the client does not pay the money until the attorney recovers it on their behalf by winning the case. Due to this very reason, time management skills, as mentioned above, are fundamental.
Since some cases are potentially dragging for more extended periods, keeping things balanced out is essential. This can be done by also practicing less demanding cases along with the longer and more demanding ones.
What are some Advantages of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Attorneys usually tend to practice in multiple areas at one time. This is why it is vital that the individual contacts a law firm solely responsible for personal injury. This is thought to be very beneficial as the personal injury lawyer will have more experience in dealing and handling the cases than a general attorney who practices in all fields.
When you acquire an injury is when you contact a personal injury lawyer. Since you will be quite occupied with visiting the hospital and getting yourself treated, you may not find the time to deal with the legal side. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will help in this case as they will be responsible for handling the case’s legal side.
This way, while you are busy recovering, your lawyer will investigate, litigate and advocate for you. This might also help speed up your recovery process as the attorneys’ widespread connections will allow access to treatment centers and health practitioners.
Dealing with insurance and insurance companies can get complicated and confusing at times. Insurance companies are multi-million-dollar businesses, and they may often try to settle the deal for lesser than it is worth.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you advocate for your rights and guaranteed access to the claim. They will also provide you with strong guidance regarding the claiming process.
A personal injury attorney possesses a combination of experience and training. It is more likely that they will help you in pursuing the best possible compensation. However, it is to be kept in mind that since all injury cases are variable, the payment will also vary according to each case.
Personal injury lawyers are well aware of the different strategies for solving cases of variant natures. It is more likely that your lawyer will review and evaluate your case and provide a piece of better advice on the legal strategy suitable for your case.
Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Law
Cases where the victim dies as a result of the acquired damage, is where the family or estate of the deceased are appointed as the compensation recipients. In such cases, the individual whose name is mentioned in the deceased’s will can file the lawsuit.
If the will does not state a personal representative’s name, the court is responsible for appointing a personal representative. The filed claim should comprise the deceased individual’s estate, surviving family members, and any other individual who possesses an interest in the case.
The individuals likely to receive the compensation include the deceased person’s parents, spouse, children, blood relative, and an adoptive sibling, depending on the decedent for their survival. Children born to unmarried parents can also receive compensation if the mother dies or if the father had formally recognized the child and had contributed to their support.
The individuals mentioned above are compensated for economic and non-economic losses. The non-economic compensation is provided for; support and services, guidance and protection, mental and emotional suffering, medical and funeral expenses.
The economic compensation is provided for estate loss and includes payments for; lost wages and benefits and earnings they were subject to receive in the future. If the opponents, in this case, had acted hastily, the decedent’s family also qualifies for punitive rewards.