Introduction To Personal Injury Lawyer

What does personal injury lawyers do?

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You

When you’re seriously injured in an accident, you need a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. But, what exactly does a personal injury lawyer do?

Most people know that if you are hurt in a car accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you get compensation for your injuries. However, most personal injury lawyers can help with more than vehicle accident cases. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman cover several practice areas that fall under personal injury law. If another person or a company injured you, contact our firms for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Whether you’re hurt in a fall or an auto accident, by a defective product or due to some other occurrence, you need to concentrate on your recovery. As you focus on emergency medical treatment, doctors, nurses, medications, surgical interventions, and therapeutic treatments, your attorney focuses on protecting your legal rights. He establishes a barrier between you and all of the people who would disrupt your peace of mind.

  • As your medical bills begin to pile up, hospital administrators will want to know how you plan to pay them.
  • If you were involved in an auto accident, the investigating police officer will want answers.
  • Your insurance company will need your statement. They’ll want to determine if they owe you PIP benefits and if they owe the other driver’s damages
  • The other driver’s insurance company will need to know your version so they can figure out if they can walk away without paying you anything.
  • If you fell on someone’s property, the liability insurance company will want to know what happened.
  • If you were injured on the job, the HR department and your boss will also have a few questions to ask.

Client relations

Before accepting a new case, a personal injury lawyer typically interviews a prospective client and evaluates the client’s case to determine the basic facts and potential legal claims that might be made, identifies possible defendants, and evaluates the strength of the case. A lawyer may decline to accept a case if the lawyer believes that the legal claims will not succeed in court, if the cost of litigation is expected to exceed the amount that can reasonably be recovered from the defendants as compensation for the client’s injury.

Compensation

Lawyer fees may be charged in a number of ways, including contingency fees, hourly rates, and flat fees. In many countries, personal injury lawyers work primarily on a contingency fee basis, sometimes called an if-come fee, through which the lawyer receives a percentage of a client’s recovery as a fee, but does not recover a fee if the claim is not successful.

In some jurisdictions, or by virtue of the retainer agreement between an attorney and client, the amount of the legal fee may vary depending upon whether a case settles before a lawsuit is filed, after a lawsuit is filed but before trial, or if the case goes to trial.[8] For example, a retainer agreement might provide that a lawyer will receive a 33 and 1/3% contingency fee if a case settles before a lawsuit is filed, a 40% contingency fee if the case settles after the lawsuit is filed, or up to 45% if the lawsuit goes to trial.

Due to the high cost of litigation, personal injury lawyers are rarely retained to work based on an hourly fee. However, defense attorneys who are hired to contest personal injury claims are often paid on an hourly basis.

The Personal Injury Litigation Process

A personal injury lawsuit starts with the filing of the complaint, a legal document listing your legal arguments, the facts in support of those legal arguments, and what you demand in relief.

After you file the complaint and serve it on the defendant (the person you’re suing), the defendant will file a response to your complaint (the “answer”).

Next, “discovery” begins. This is the stage of litigation where the two sides exchange information that might serve as evidence during trial. In most personal injury cases, discovery will consist of depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories, and the process can take months to complete.

After discovery, the trial is set. Your attorney may file a variety of pre-trial motions (to try to keep the defendant from using a piece of evidence during trial, for example). It’s very rare for a personal injury lawsuit to reach the trial phase. Settlement is possible at any point during this process, including right up to (or even during) trial.

Your personal injury lawyer will take care of all aspects of the litigation phase and will keep you updated on your case’s progress.The Personal Injury Litigation Process

A personal injury lawsuit starts with the filing of the complaint, a legal document listing your legal arguments, the facts in support of those legal arguments, and what you demand in relief.

After you file the complaint and serve it on the defendant (the person you’re suing), the defendant will file a response to your complaint (the “answer”).

Next, “discovery” begins. This is the stage of litigation where the two sides exchange information that might serve as evidence during trial. In most personal injury cases, discovery will consist of depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories, and the process can take months to complete.

After discovery, the trial is set. Your attorney may file a variety of pre-trial motions (to try to keep the defendant from using a piece of evidence during trial, for example). It’s very rare for a personal injury lawsuit to reach the trial phase. Settlement is possible at any point during this process, including right up to (or even during) trial.

Your personal injury lawyer will take care of all aspects of the litigation phase and will keep you updated on your case’s progress.

Points to Keep in Mind After Hiring a Lawyer

Your attorney probably can’t respond immediately to your telephone calls or emails. Lawyers are ethically bound to respond to clients within a reasonable amount of time, but they have other cases to work on, depositions to prepare for, and court hearings to attend.

One thing your lawyer should never do is keep you in the dark about what’s going on in your case, especially if the other side makes a settlement offer. Unless you’ve given your permission, your lawyer cannot accept or reject a settlement offer without running it by you first.

Be careful discussing your case with anyone other than your lawyer or a representative from your lawyer’s office. If you get a call from an insurance adjuster or someone you’re not familiar with, don’t talk to them about your case. If they have legitimate questions or concerns about your case, you can refer them to your attorney. On a related note, unless your attorney advises you otherwise, do not sign any document relating to your case, and do not change doctors.

Keep your lawyer updated. For instance, if you finish your medical treatment, tell your attorney. If the defendant or someone working on behalf of the defendant tries to contact you, tell your attorney. If you receive additional medical bills or other documents that substantiate your damages claim, tell your attorney and send them copies of relevant documents.

If you’re having money struggles as a result of your personal injury, tell your attorney. They can suggest avenues of financial support and give you advice on how to deal with creditors.

What types of cases do personal injury lawyers handle?

Personal injury lawyers handle several types of negligence cases that involve car accidents, truck accidents, aviation accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, child daycare negligence, wrongful death cases, and other types of negligence cases. Negligence occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. In other words, negligence occurs when one person carelessly injures another person.

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