What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?
A personal injury attorney provides legal representation to honest, hardworking people who are the victims of negligence. This is most often the case of physical or psychological injury for which another individual, professional, or company is responsible.
In most instances, a lawyer that focuses on personal injury cases has the education, training, and licensing to work in several different legal fields. He or she instead chooses to accept cases involving injury,
- on the job,
- in a car accident,
- in a slip and fall accident,
- by a defective product, or
- due to medical malpractice.
By filing a lawsuit against the negligent party – known as the defendant – the victim seeks to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
A personal injury lawyer works to recover that compensation for their client – known as the plaintiff – by navigating various legal channels, up to and including going to trial.
In the majority of cases, however, personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court.
Although the decision to settle out of court is ultimately made by the plaintiff, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can offer valuable legal advice and insights.
Is a Personal Injury Attorney Specialized?
Laws vary between states, but as a general rule, a lawyer must complete a specialty certification program accredited by the American Bar Association to be deemed a specialist in personal injury.
These programs are designed to set standards of competence, knowledge and experience in order for a lawyer to be an effective personal injury attorney.
The objective of concentrating in a single area of law is to build the knowledge and experience needed to successfully handle specialized cases.
Once certified by the American Bar Association, a lawyer may choose to narrow the scope of his or her focus on a particular area of personal injury law. Some examples include:
- medical malpractice
- product liability
- workplace injury
- wrongful death
How Is a Personal Injury Attorney Compensated?
The fees lawyers charge are usually based on a number of different factors, including:
- The time spent on a case.
- The outcome of the case.
- The difficulty of a case.
Most often, the single greatest factory in determining the fees a personal injury attorney will charge is his or her level of experience. A more knowledgeable, reputable, and experienced lawyer will charge more for devoting expertise to a legal matter.
A number of methods are used to collect fees from a plaintiff:
- Contingency fees
- Hourly rates
- Flat fees
Prior to choosing a lawyer to represent your personal injury case, it is important to make sure you understand exactly how payment works and when it will happen.
For instance, your local “Attorney Big Al” does not collect their attorney fees until money is recovered for the client. He will also advance case expenses that the client does not have to repay if there is no recovery.
This type of approach is especially helpful for many deserving clients. The cost of retaining a personal injury attorney could prohibit some individuals from seeking justice.
If you would like to know more about your local “Attorney Big Al”, call 1-800-HURT-123 today for a free consultation or visit HURT123.com and select your region.
Can I Trust a Personal Injury Attorney?
A practicing lawyer in any area of law is bound by numerous professional and ethical rules and codes. These rules and codes are set forth by state bar associations.
Most importantly, personal injury attorneys owe his or her clients loyalty, dedication, confidentiality, and complete assurance that every legal step taken is for the best.
These strict standards are set up to protect you against and all legal incompetence.
Pursuing any legal matter with respect to personal injury first begins with a consultation. The lawyer must identify the legal wrongdoing – negligence – that occurred. If there is a legal case to be made, he or she must also perform the due diligence to build a strong case.
For this reason, a personal injury attorney is only likely to take on your case if he or she feels:
- There is a clear case of negligence involved.
- Trained and adequately experienced in this area of law.
- Able to take the case to trial should a settlement not be reached first.
The professional reputation of the personal injury attorney you choose is directly tied to your legal matter. You can therefore rest assured that your attorney can be trusted, as he or she shares your desired outcome.