What Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Personal injury lawyers represent the rights of individuals who are injured due to the negligence of another party. In general, the clients of personal injury lawyers were not at fault. The most common situation is an automobile accident. The personal injury lawyer can represent the driver of a motor vehicle was hurt by the actions of another driver. The lawyer can also represent passengers who may have been hurt by either the driver of the car they were riding in or by the driver of another vehicle or by both.
The first task of a personal injury lawyer is to determine who is at fault. There is no case unless someone else is negligent. This involves obtaining copies of accident and police reports and interviewing the client and potential witnesses. It also involves discovering what type of insurance coverage exists and then contacting the insurance company. Many times the insurance company will admit liability. It then becomes the job of the personal injury lawyer to assemble and document the damages caused by the negligent party. Those damages are presented to the insurance company in the form of a demand letter for a specific amount of money.
Damages include medical bills, lost wages, and any claim for disability. The disability claim does not have to mean the client cannot work. It can be as simple as an injured knee that will never be quite right and will require future treatment including possible surgery as the client ages.
The personal injury has to know what a fair and reasonable monetary figure is for damages. The negotiation with the insurance company will end at some point with a final offer. The lawyer has to then decide to accept the offer or file a lawsuit. The lawyer files a lawsuit seeking a jury trial only when the final offer is too low. There is considerable expense in a trial plus the delay in receiving compensation. Many times the client will want to settle in order to get the money in a timely manner. That is where the advice of the personal injury lawyer is crucial so the client can make an informed decision about whether to settle or go to trial.
Personal injury lawyers do more than handle automobile accident cases. They will represent a person in a slip and fall case. An example would be a person falling on a wet floor in a business. There are also product liability cases where someone is hurt due to a faulty product. The lawyer must keep up with the latest case law so he or she will know when a person has a legitimate case. Much of the lawyer’s work is done with research as to whether or not the facts indicate a winning case. it also involves being aware of the types and amounts of damages awarded in court cases. That is of great assistance is assessing a reasonable settlement.
A personal injury lawyer has to know the law both as it exists and as it changes. The lawyer has to know what is included in damages and how to present those damages in a way that maximizes a recovery. Finally, the lawyer has to know how to explain the process to the client and give the best advice as to when to settle and when to go to trial.