Posted by Michael P. Glisson on 11/02/2023

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Maybe you broke your arm in a car accident, or fell down a set of steps that were in disrepair. Whatever the case may be, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, then you can be compensated for your pain, suffering, and financial loss. In order to obtain monetary restitution for your injuries and damages, it would be wise to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney. An attorney knows the legal process intimately, and can ensure that the liable parties pay you exactly what you deserve to cover your hospital bills, lost wages from any work that you miss, and compensation for the physical and emotional suffering caused by the accident. 

What does a personal injury attorney do? 

A personal injury attorney provides legal advice and representation to individuals who have been physically or emotionally harmed due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another party. Their primary goal is to help their clients seek compensation for the damages and losses they have incurred as a result of the incident. 

Some key roles and responsibilities of a personal injury attorney include:

  • Case evaluation and investigation. They assess the details of a potential case to determine if there is a valid claim. This involves reviewing evidence, gathering information from witnesses, and consulting with experts like medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, economists, and other specialists to strengthen the case and establish the extent of damage
  • Filing legal documents. They handle the administrative aspects of filing a lawsuit, including preparing and filing necessary legal documents, such as complaints, motions, and responses.
  • Assessing damages. Attorneys help clients identify the losses they have suffered, and then quantify the extent of the damages they can receive ( medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more). Personal injury attorneys work diligently to protect their client's rights and ensure they receive the compensation they are entitled to under the law.
  • Negotiation. Personal injury attorneys negotiate with insurance companies, opposing attorneys, and other parties involved in the case to reach a settlement that is fair and just for their client.
  • Representation at trial. In cases that go to trial, they provide representation in court, presenting the case, examining witnesses, and making legal arguments on behalf of their client.

What types of cases do personal injury attorneys take? 

Personal injury is a pretty broad term. On the surface, it’s any case where you sustain physical and/or emotional injuries due to negligence. Some of the more common types of injury claims involve:

  • Vehicle accidents. These can involve any motorized vehicle, from cars, trucks, and motorcycles to ATVs and city buses. Collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians often fall under the umbrella of vehicle accidents.
  • Premises liability cases. These generally involve injuries on unsafe properties. That broken handrail or defective elevator that causes you to fall? That’s a premises liability case. Dog bites and assaults (sexual and/or physical) also fall in this category of claims, as do some cases involving construction sites. 
  • Products liability. This area of law deals with defective products, often as a result of a flaw during the design or manufacturing process. If a tire blowout is caused by a defective tread, or if you suffer a burn injury because of the position of a steam valve on your pressure cooker, you may have a products liability claim. It also encompasses “failure to warn.” The sticker on your toaster that says “don’t use in water” is the most obvious case, but it also applies to things like side effects for medication. 
  • Medical malpractice. This area encompasses an array of sub-practice areas, because the medical industry is wide and varied. Medication errors, birth injuries, diagnostic failures, nursing home abuse, surgical mistakes – any and all of these can be considered acts of medical negligence or malpractice. 
  • Wrongful death. This is a specific type of injury claim, because the victim cannot speak for him or herself. Wrongful death and survivor actions seek to hold negligent parties accountable when someone dies because of their actions (or inactions). 

Some personal injury lawyers practice in very specific areas, too. For example, workers’ compensation is a type of injury case, but it’s governed by a different set of laws and rules. While the attorney would still be representing injured people, it’s not exactly a personal injury case. So if you are injured at work, you’ll want to find an attorney who handles workers’ compensation.

How can a lawyer help me seek compensation for my injuries?

Damages, as per Britannica, means “money compensation for loss or injury caused by the wrongful act of another. Recovery of damages is the objective of most civil litigation.” When personal injury lawyers talk about damages, they mean that you can claim: 

  • Coverage for medical bills and related expenses, including travel costs, co-pays, medical devices, and more
  • Reimbursement for lost wages and any diminished earning capacity of the victim, and potentially for family caregivers as well
  • Compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering, including chronic pain and emotional distress, as well as any related losses (such as loss of companionship, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium for spouses)
  • Funeral and burial expenses (in wrongful death claims)
  • Punitive damages (in select cases)

A personal injury lawyer understands that sometimes, these damages increase over time. So if you are in a car accident and you agree to a settlement with the insurance company, you may not get as much compensation as you’ll actually need to recover. Injury attorneys look at what you need right away for the expenses you’ve accrued, but also what you’ll need in the future. Then, they can negotiate a better award with the insurance company. If that negotiation fails, they can represent you in court in front of a jury. 

When you are severely injured due to someone else’s negligence, hospital bills can be insurmountable, and funds that you were saving for a rainy day are spent trying to get your life back to normal. When you find yourself in this situation, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney. You should not have to suffer for someone else’s mistake. 

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