What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Many people think of personal injury lawyers when they have a car accident claim. However, personal injury law encompasses much more than motor vehicle accidents.
Personal injury lawyers fight for the rights of individuals and families who sustained damages because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing.
In simple terms, personal injury lawyers fight to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you deserve after a negligent or reckless person causes you to be injured.
They are civil lawyers who work to resolve disputed claims. They may negotiate a settlement with an insurance company, or they may file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who caused your injury.
What Types of Cases Do Personal Injury Attorney Handle?
A personal injury attorney may handle numerous types of claims involving physical injuries, emotional distress, financial losses, and psychological injuries.
The claims may arise from numerous situations or incidents that can cause harm to individuals.
Examples of situations and incidents that can result in a personal injury claim include, but are not limited to:
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability claims (defective products)
- Motor vehicle accidents, including accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists, head-on crashes, trucks, sideswipes, and motorcycles
- Boating accidents
- Premises liability claims, including slip and fall accidents, swimming pool accidents, insufficient lighting, and negligent security
- Construction accidents, including injuries involving falls, cranes, explosions, electrocutions, and exposure to toxic chemicals
- Dog bites and dog attacks
- Oil & gas field injuries
- Workplace injuries and accidents
- Wrongful death claims
Some lawyers focus their personal injury practice on a few cases, while other lawyers have developed extensive experience in a variety of cases. When you search for an attorney to handle your case, look for a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to your case.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
Personal injury lawyers perform complicated legal services. They work to protect your legal rights and best interests after an injury or accident.
Some of the essential things that a personal injury attorney does for you include:
- Explains your legal rights
- Builds a case against the party who caused your injury
- Sends letters of legal representation
- Secures evidence, including physical evidence such as defective products, damaged vehicles, etc.
- Manages communications with the insurance providers
- Analyzes potential legal issues that could strengthen or weaken your case
- Reviews your medical records and consults with your physicians
- Requests evidence of loss of income and benefits
- Gathers evidence and documents your damages
- Monitors deadlines to file personal injury lawsuits and files court documents
- Locates and retains various experts
- Calculates the value of your damages
- Negotiates a fair settlement for your damages
There are countless ways that a personal injury lawyer helps you with your claim. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important ways a personal injury attorney can help you.
Investigates the Accident
Your lawyer initiates a comprehensive accident investigation to determine how you were injured. During the investigation, the attorney collects evidence to prove that the other party caused your injuries. You cannot recover compensation for your damages unless you can prove the other party caused your injuries.
A personal injury lawyer has the resources and knowledge to perform necessary tasks such as:
- Track down and interview witnesses
- Search for video evidence of the accident
- Collect physical evidence
- Obtain accident reports
- Document adverse conditions that could have led to your injuries
In some cases, your personal injury lawyer may hire experts and professionals to work on your case. Those individuals could include investigators, accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and engineers.
Handles the Insurance Company
Your attorney identifies the insurance companies that might be liable for your claim. He reviews each insurance policy to determine coverage. Insurance coverage might include liability insurance, PIP coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and other coverage applicable to an injury claim.
An attorney files insurance claims and takes care of all communications with the insurance company. If an insurance company acts in bad faith to deny you the compensation you deserve, your attorney might file a bad faith insurance lawsuit to hold the company liable for its actions.
Insurance companies want to control claims. Your lawyer controls the flow of information to the company. He also ensures that the company continues to move your claim through the process to get you the money you deserve as quickly as possible.
Calculates the Value of Your Damages
When you complete medical treatment and the extent of your injuries and damages are known, your attorney calculates the maximum value for all your damages. The goal is to recover full compensation for each category of damage. The types of damages in personal injury claims include, but might not be limited to:
- Financial damages, including medical bills, loss of income, decreases in future earning capacity, personal care expenses, travel to medical appointments, medical equipment, etc.
- Pain and suffering damages, including physical, emotional, and mental trauma and distress
- Loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life
- Permanent impairments, including scaring, disabilities, and disfigurement
- Wrongful death benefits
Calculating how much a personal injury claim is worth can be challenging. There is not a standard formula for calculating non-economic damages. All economic damages must be carefully documented.
An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to use the facts of the case to increase the value of the claim. He also knows what evidence and documentation are required for each type of damage.
Prepares a Settlement Demand and Negotiates a Settlement Agreement
Your lawyer drafts a detailed settlement demand package to send to the insurance company. The demand settlement includes legal arguments, facts of the case, and documentation to support the allegations of fault and liability.
Your lawyer and the insurance company may negotiate back and forth for several weeks or months. The parties may exchange additional information and evidence. Personal injury attorneys are skilled and talented negotiators who understand how to use the facts in your case to your advantage.
When an agreement is reached, your attorney prepares a settlement agreement that protects you. He ensures that the terms of the agreement do not violate any of your legal rights.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuits
When settlement negotiations fail, your lawyer prepares a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, attorneys have prepared the case with a lawsuit in mind. Therefore, the attorney has the required information, documentation, and evidence necessary to prepare and file the lawsuit.
Your lawyer represents you throughout the court case. He appears at each hearing and prepares you for the trial. The lawyer’s office coordinates witnesses and prepares evidence to present during the trial.
Throughout the lawsuit, your attorney continues to advocate for your best interest. If a settlement can be reached that avoids trial, he will work to that end. However, if the case goes to court, he aggressively argues for your right to fair compensation of all damages.
Call a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Schedule a free consultation with a Texas personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. You are under no obligation to retain the attorney or the law firm after the meeting.
Stephens Law Firm, PLLC wants to ensure that you receive the information and legal advice you need to make the best decision for you. This firm is passionate about helping accident victims as they continue to recover from injuries caused by another person.