What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Gregory H. Herrman with Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C..
Personal injury lawyers help people who have been injured by the negligent or intentional conduct of one or more parties. Unlike criminal lawyers, personal injury lawyers practice in civil court and focus on seeking compensation for injury victims and their families rather than assigning a penalty for criminal actions. The areas in which personal injury lawyers practice vary widely, encompassing everything from car accidents to dangerous premises lawsuits to injuries caused by defective products.
If you suspect that another party was negligent or intentional in causing your injury, a personal injury lawyer can help you file a civil claim or lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages, often including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Personal injury lawyers identify liable parties.
One of the most difficult parts of any potential personal injury case is identifying the liable party or parties. In some cases it can be difficult to identify who breached a legal responsibility to the injury victim; for example, in a mesothelioma claim, tracking down the party that allowed the mesothelioma victim to suffer asbestos exposure often requires looking decades into the victim’s past and seeking out evidence that has become extremely dispersed with time. In other cases there may be more than one party liable for the same injury; for example, if a car accident occurred due to a drunk driver but the victim’s injuries were exacerbated by a fire caused by a defective fuel tank, the victim may have a claim against both the negligent driver and the vehicle manufacturer. Personal injury lawyers can quickly identify any party that may be liable for the victim’s damages to hold them accountable for the harm they caused.
Personal injury lawyers assess damages.
Personal injury lawyers can also quickly and accurately identify a victim’s damages. While this practice might seem simple upfront, a matter of adding up the cost of the victim’s medical bills and lost wages, there could be a myriad of other damages that the victim is eligible to pursue.
For example, if an injury is likely to have long-term or even permanent effects on the victim’s life, will the compensation offered by the negligent party cover all of the future damages in addition to the present one? If, for example, an injury victim is going to be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their life, a settlement offer or verdict should include compensation intended to cover predicted wheelchair maintenance and replacement costs, as well as any other life care expenses that may be unique to the victim’s life. Personal injury lawyers can also help their clients assess and assign a monetary value to important non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and more.
Some of the most common types of personal injury lawsuits include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Dangerous property accidents (i.e. premises liability)
- Defective product injuries (i.e. product liability)
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
Most personal injury lawyers do not charge upfront.
It’s also important to note that most personal injury attorneys do not charge any out-of-pocket fees. A good civil injury lawyer understands the pain, stress, and grief that an injury victim and their family are likely to experience following an unexpected accident. Rather than worrying about yet another expense, personal injury attorneys typically offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis; this means that clients only have to pay for an attorney’s services if and when they win their case, and this payment typically comes out of a portion of the winnings so that the injured party does not have to suffer any further monetary damage.
To learn more about what personal injury lawyers do, or to discuss your case if you have been injured by another party’s negligence, reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.