A personal injury attorney is a lawyer that offers legal services to individuals who claim to have been injured either physically or emotionally, due to the negligence of someone else. The term ‘personal injury’ refers to damage caused to an individual’s reputation, rights or property. Personal injury attorneys primarily practice in the field of civil law known as torts. Tort law covers any wrong or damage done to one person by another through negligence or intentional misconduct. Torts are also related to contract law and include accidents, contracts, negligence and agreements.
Individuals who have sustained injuries at the hands of another may submit claims for damages against the person or company responsible for the accident. The law also allows for private parties to be held responsible for injuries if they were acting in the best interests of the injured party at the time of the event. When insurance companies are sued for medical bills, lost wages and other damages, they are not necessarily held liable for injuries sustained during the accident. Personal injury law covers these scenarios as well.
Some individuals may question why they need a personal injury attorney when insurance companies may settle the claims for less than what they are seeking. In addition to the fact that insurance companies may settle claims for less, the amounts they offer may not cover all of the medical bills and other losses incurred. If you are unable to pay for your own medical bills, you may not be able to afford to make a larger personal injury claim.
Many individuals wonder if they should hire a personal injury lawyer rather than attempting to represent themselves in court. Some personal injury lawyers choose to work on a contingency basis, which means that the lawyer only gets paid if he or she wins the case. In some states, personal injury lawyers may be compensated by the state for their services. These lawyers will collect a percentage of any settlements won and will keep 100 percent of any payouts. This type of arrangement is usually made between the lawyers and the insurance company.
Another reason people hire a personal injury attorney is because they may be responsible for filing a claim against an insurance company they believe is liable. If this happens, the individual who has been the victim of the accident must make the decision to pursue legal proceedings or to accept the settlement. Failure to file a claim can cause the insurance company to be sued for negligence. If the person does not file a claim against the liable party within a reasonable time period, they could be found liable for any legal costs incurred. The law firm representing the client will decide whether the client can or cannot file a claim.
There are other instances where people who are not legally represented become the victims of injury-related incidents. If you slip and fall on a dark sidewalk, you might have no way of knowing if the individual who tripped you was actually liable for the injuries you sustained. In cases like these, a personal injury lawyer will have to determine who was at fault for the incident. Some jurisdictions have a rule that says pedestrians must sue in civil court if they are injured due to negligence. If a person is not injured or harmed in any way, they have no grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
In cases where there is not a clear verdict, personal injury attorneys will have to decide how much money will be sought through a settlement. A verdict in favor of the defendant will warrant a large amount of money. On the other hand, if there is not enough evidence to prove or disprove liability, there might not be enough funds available to settle the case. Personal injury attorneys can make a decision about what will be sought through a settlement based on how much damage was suffered.
Personal injury lawyers will also try to determine if negligence was responsible for the incident. Negligence can result in a case being thrown out if it can be proven that carelessness caused one to suffer harm. Negligence can cause any type of harm, physical or psychological, including a broken bone or brain tumor. Personal injury lawyers will work to determine if the defendant acted unreasonably, which caused the victim to suffer harm, whether financial losses were suffered, and if any damages were awarded in a previous case.