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What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?

 | Published on: 
November 8, 2019
 | Categories: 

A personal injury attorney is someone who offers legal representation to people who have been injured or involved in an accident. Personal injury attorney work in tort law, which includes negligent acts as well as intentional acts. They pursue compensation for accident victims.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury cases usually involve the negligent acts of others. This includes vehicular accidents, including motorcycle accidents and truck accidents. Personal injury attorneys may also handle other types of transportation accidents, including aviation accidents, bike accidents, boating accidents, mass transportation accidents, and pedestrian accidents. They may also take cases involving premises liability, including negligent security, slip and fall accidents and animal bites and attacks. They may likewise handle cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect and construction accidents.

Types of Compensation

Personal injury complainants may be entitled to compensation for the damages that they have suffered. This includes loss of income, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earning capacity, loss of companionship, emotional distress, loss of consortium,  mental anguish and pain and suffering.

Acts of Personal Injury Attorneys

The specific actions that personal injury attorneys do depends on the type of case, specialty area and where they exactly are in the process of a case. Some of the activities that personal injury attorneys may do and how they benefit your case include:

personal injury from accident

Investigating Claims

Personal injury attorneys generally agree on a contingency fee basis in which they only charge attorney’s fees after they've secured a settlement or jury verdict. Because they usually finance a case, they take great care in screening potential clients and evaluating the merits of the case. A personal injury attorney will not want to take on a case that he or she doesn't believe will result in a win for the client.

Gathering Evidence

A personal injury attorney may gather evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim. This may involve collecting any police or incident report. The attorney may track down witnesses and get witness statements. He or she may also take or instruct a photographer to take pictures of the accident report. He or she may retain evidence for the case, such as property damage, camera footage or other evidence.

Evidence can establish liability for anyone who caused the accident and the extent of the damages that the plaintiff suffered. Evidence may include medical reports and records, bills, employment documents, employment reports and property damage reports.

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Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Most people don't negotiate as part of their typical lives. However, personal injury attorneys are used to negotiating with insurance companies. They can review the policies and determine the maximum level of compensation that may be available based on the specific circumstances of their case. A personal injury attorney may also handle all communications with the insurance company and prevent the injury victim from anything that may jeopardize his or her claim, such as giving a recorded statement.

Sending Demand Letters

A personal injury attorney may send a demand letter to an insurance company after thoroughly investigating the claim. This demand letter states the facts of the injury and accident and demands a certain amount of damages for the injury that the victim sustained.

Preparing Pleadings

If the insurance company refuses to provide a fair settlement, the personal injury attorney may prepare a complaint against the defendant. The complaint sets out the legal arguments as to why why the defendant is responsible for the accident. The complaint also states an amount of damages that the client is seeking.

personal injury attorney helping client

The defendant has 30 days from the date of receiving the complaint to prepare an answer to it.

Conducting Discovery

The plaintiff’s attorney may initiate discovery processes. This includes sending interrogatories to the defendant to require certain information. It can also include deposing parties, experts, and witnesses.

Representing Clients at Trial

If the policy case proceeds to trial, a personal injury attorney provides representation in court. Personal injury attorneys are familiar with court customs and procedures and can ensure that these steps are carefully followed.

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Contact an Attorney for Assistance

It is critical to have a personal injury attorney by your side if you have been injured in an accident caused by somebody else. An attorney can help you level the playing field since the other side will likely have an attorney on his or her side. He or she can call on resources like expert witnesses and private investigators when necessary.