What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Have you seen the commercials on local television telling you that you might deserve compensation if you’ve taken a certain medication with unannounced side effects, experienced an injury, or undergone another hardship? These are put on by personal injury attorneys.
Contrary to popular belief, personal injury attorneys don’t just sit around sipping coffee from their favorite coffee subscription and putting out those commercials. They actually exist to help people, and although you hope that you’ll never need the services of a personal injury attorney, here’s a little about what they do if you need one.
Specialization in tort law
Tort law is the technical name for personal injury law. It covers all legal representation related to injuries or wrongdoings at the hands of someone else. Tort law’s primary purpose is to help the injured party gain the compensation they need to heal and cover their bills.
They do this by seeking compensation for losses related to medical expenses and property damage. They’ll also consider financial losses due to the injury, such as an inability to work. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other emotional damage can be grounds for compensation as well.
An attorney’s responsibilities in a personal injury case
A personal injury lawyer has several responsibilities when working through a personal injury case. Once you’ve selected your attorney, here’s what they’ll do to help you get from the inception of your case to the victory or appeal:
Consult: First and foremost, they’ll meet with you, ask questions about the incident, and tell you whether or not you have a good case. If an attorney does not believe you can win, it’s important to find an attorney who believes in your cause.
Investigate and gather evidence: The case begins with your attorney learning as much as they can about your claim. They’ll screen witnesses and research case law to help you succeed. This process involves interviewing and deposing witnesses as well as drafting discovery requests, pleadings, and motions.
File your claim: Once the background research is complete, your attorney will file your case with the court. From there, you’ll wait for a verdict.
Settlement or court proceedings: Most personal injury cases settle outside of court, and your attorney will facilitate this settlement. If it does go to court, your attorney will represent you. They’ll provide counsel and instruction to help you win your case.
Types of personal injury cases
In general, any personal injury that involves intentional or negligent acts by others is grounds for a personal injury case. It includes physical injuries resulting from vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, bike accidents, medical malpractice, or dog bites.
A personal injury case might also stem from emotional or mental injuries. For example, if a person develops PTSD after a serious car accident, they may have grounds to sue for emotional damages. The case is the same for depression and anxiety stemming from these accidents.
You may also sue for defamation. If someone says something slanderous about you that hurts your reputation, you may have grounds to take them to court.
When to call a personal injury attorney
If you decide that you’ve been a victim to a personal injury case, contact a personal injury attorney. Their free consultation will help you decide whether or not you should pursue compensation. It’s best if you contact an attorney early on in the process. Evidence is best gathered near the beginning when the case is still fresh. If you wait too long, you risk being unable to make a strong case.
Additionally, there’s a statute of limitations surrounding every personal injury case. This means that you only have a certain amount of time to file a claim following your accident before the court deems it too late. This makes finding a great attorney and making him or her work for you an important step in overcoming your personal injury.