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.
What if my attorney won’t return my calls?
It is unfortunate that one of the top complaints that many people have with their lawyers is that they have trouble getting their phone calls returned. It can be extremely frustrating when you have a question or concern that you want answered or addressed in a timely manner. In worse cases, your lawyer may not get back to you at all. This can cause you a lot of stress because you begin to wonder what is really going on with regards to your case. If you have hired a lawyer and they have become unresponsive, below are some simple steps to begin following to get to the bottom of it.
Talk To Someone Else From Their Office
If you are having trouble getting your lawyer to return your phone calls, try speaking with someone else at the office. You can do this even if they are not responding to your voicemail or emails. If they have a paralegal that works for them, that would be a good place to start. If you get the chance to speak with someone else, explain to them what is going on and why you need to get in touch with your lawyer. Ask them if they have any knowledge of why you are not getting responded to.
Every time you get a call from your lawyer, keep track of it. If you begin to get avoided by your lawyer, keep a track of all correspondence you send them and when you tried to call them. If you do speak with someone else when trying to get in touch with your lawyer, take down their names as well.
If phone calls are not working, try sending your lawyer an email and see if you get a response. This could lead to a response. Some attorneys are able to make time to respond to emails more frequently than telephone calls. Even if your lawyer does not respond to you through the email, you will have some electronic evidence that you are getting ignored by them.
If the email idea isn’t getting you the response that you want, you could try and send your lawyer a certified email with a request of return receipt. In the letter you write to them, explain why you are trying to get in contact with them and advise them you will be terminating your agreement with them if they fail to respond.
Contact State Bar
If you continue to have issues with your lawyer and cannot get them to contact you back after many attempts, you could contact your state bar and ask for assistance. In many cases, they will advise you to first sent a certified letter before they will do anything. If the letter does not get you a response, the state bar will contact the lawyer on your behalf.
If your lawyer fails to start being responsive to your inquiries, it is time to consider firing them. They are either intentionally ignoring you or may be too busy to put effort into your case. Either of those reasons is just cause to fire them and find another lawyer. You don’t want an attorney handling your case who you are not able to communicate with or who may be too busy to put proper work into your case.