What is and what does a personal injury lawyer do? He/she is a lawyer that provides legal representation for people who got injured as a result of someone else´s (a person, entity or organization) negligence or wrongdoing. A plaintiff or trial lawyer is a personal injury lawyer specialized in a legal area known as tort law.
Although personal injury lawyers are trained to practice any legal field, they typically work only on cases that fall under the tort law. Tort law includes civil or private wrongs or injuries, as well as nonfinancial damages to the one´s rights, properties or reputation.
The lawyer seeks to help plaintiffs get compensation for their losses, including:
- monetary losses (for missing work, for example),
- pain and suffering,
- medical expenses (to date and future),
- emotional distress,
- loss of companionship or consortium,
- and legal costs.
The tasks of a trial lawyer when handling a personal injury case typically include:
- Evaluating if the case has merits,
- counseling their clients,
- collecting evidence,
- formulating legal theories
- case law researching
- drafting pleadings
- interviewing witnesses
- preparing for the trial
- advocating the case during the entire course of the trial.
To begin with, your lawyer will ask you a broad range of questions to get a deep insight on the situation. You will be asked from the most simple personal information to some question that would not be so easy to respond. Nevertheless, it your lawyer needs to fully understand the situation so as to determine if your case has a winning potential or not.
Your lawyer will explain to you the expected costs and the professional fees, although in the majority of the cases personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they will receive a percentage of the obtained compensations.
Most likely, to start working on your case, your lawyer will ask you to sign a form allowing him/her to get your medical records. You will also be asked about your insurance coverage and whether you have already contacted them or not. Similarly, he will ask you if you have previously discussed the case with another lawyer. Regarding your injuries, your lawyer will want to know all details, the treatments you have undergone so far, and he may even refer you to a medical doctor if needed.
Never forget that a personal injury lawyer´s primary duty is to protect the rights and interests of his clients, and among his responsibilities he has to follow ethical and professional codes of conduct and regulations strictly. Such conduct rules are set by state bar associations, being confidentiality one of their main obligations. Justice exists, rely your case on a reputable personal injury lawyer and rest assured that your best interests will be pursued.