What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

personal injury lawyer

A personal injury lawyer makes it possible for you to get the most out of your personal injury claim. That’s why you should immediately seek the legal assistance of a PI lawyer if you sustained injuries in a car accident or other similar circumstances.

Physical or psychological injuries can cause extreme pain and stress. They can hinder your professional or personal progress. They can also negatively impact your financial situation, particularly if you have racked up a significant amount of medical bills and other expenses related to your injury.

Personal injury attorneys can help you to receive fair compensation from the responsible party and the insurance company. A PI lawyer specializes in tort law, which involves intentional wrongs, negligence, and strict liability. That’s why they are qualified to serve as your legal representative, whether you decide to pursue your personal injury case in court or you are planning on accepting a settlement offer.

Continue reading to discover what exactly a personal injury lawyer does. Explore the different types of personal injury cases that a PI lawyer typically handles. Learn how you can find competent personal injury attorneys in the U.S. so that you can make the most out of your personal injury claim.

What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

A personal injury lawyer assists you in confirming the validity of your claim and filing your claim in a timely manner, according to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. They routinely perform the following tasks as they provide legal services to clients with personal injury cases such as yourself:

Coordinating With Clients

A PI lawyer will have an in-depth conversation with you about the situation which caused your injury. They will listen to your side of the story as you relay how the accident happened from your point of view. They may request more information and ask questions that are directly relevant to the case.

They will gather data related to your injury, disability, pain, recovery, etc. For example, they might interview you about traffic signals, traffic signs, and speed limits if you were involved in a car accident. On the other hand, they could ask you to describe the surface you slipped on if you got hurt in a slip and fall accident.

Evaluating Personal Injury Claims

A personal injury attorney will assess the merits of your personal injury claim before they decide to take on your case. If you are planning to negotiate a settlement with the injured party, they can guide you on what steps you should take or avoid. If the settlement amount is not satisfactory, they can prepare to present your personal injury case in court.

Providing Advice on Client Rights

A personal injury lawyer will advise you regarding your rights as an injured party. They can explain what type and amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive based on the nature and extremity of your injuries and losses.

Collecting Supporting Evidence

It is the responsibility of a PI lawyer to collect evidence to support your personal injury claim. This evidence is crucial to your case because it verifies the liability of the responsible party and the severity of the injuries you incurred.

For instance, the attorney may snap photos of the accident scene or make copies of the accident report. They may search for possible witnesses and request statements from them. They can also gather medical reports, employment paperwork, and property damage documents connected to your accident.

If a defective product has caused your injury, they will store it safely since it is the main evidence for your case. They may have it tested in a non-destructive way and request product testing reports from experts.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

A personal injury attorney can deal with insurance companies on your behalf. They can negotiate with the insurance company so that you can get the highest amount of compensation possible. They will review the details of the insurance policies and find out the implications of the fine print.

Handling Communication

The personal injury lawyer shall be responsible for legal communication tasks. They will send formal letters of representation to the responsible party, insurance company, manufacturers of defective cars and products, and other individuals and organizations involved in the accident.

Drafting a Demand Letter

The personal injury attorney will draft and send a demand letter to an insurance company after investigating your claim. This letter officially demands a particular amount of compensation for your injury.

Preparing Legal Complaints

The PI lawyer will prepare a complaint if the responsible party or insurance company fails to offer you a reasonable settlement amount. This complaint lists the legal arguments which seek to prove that the responsible party is liable for the accident that led to your injury. It also includes the compensation amount that you are expecting to receive as the injured party.

The responsible party or insurance company will be granted 30 days from when they receive the complaint to reply.

Filing a Lawsuit

The personal injury lawyer may formally file a lawsuit on your behalf if you do not receive a fair settlement amount from the responsible party or insurance company. All the legal allegations, theories, and evidence are formalized in this stage. The American Bar Association explains that you become the plaintiff while the individual or organization who injured you becomes the defendant after you file a lawsuit.

Representing Clients During Trials

The personal injury attorney will serve as your legal representation in court if the case proceeds to trial. They will prepare for the trial and follow the necessary court procedures and protocols. In court, they will present your personal injury case and supporting evidence in front of the judge and convince them of your claim’s validity.

Types of Personal Injury Cases Typically Covered by a PI Lawyer

Personal injury attorneys handle a variety of personal injury cases affecting the body, emotions, or reputation of individuals such as yourself. They do not include injuries to property rights.

The three grounds for personal injury claims are negligence, strict liability, and intentional wrongs, based on resources from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School. These are the types of personal injury cases typically covered by PI lawyers:

Vehicular Accident Cases

Vehicular accidents occur when a motor vehicle collides with another vehicle or pedestrian. Some examples of vehicular accidents are car crashes, motorcycle collisions, truck wrecks, and pedestrian accidents.

A personal injury lawyer frequently covers cases that involve vehicular accidents. They examine evidence related to each accident, such as pictures of the accident site, eyewitness accounts, security camera or dashcam footage, and photos of the damage to the cars or motor vehicles.

Product Liability Cases

Defective products may cause harm to customers. Government regulations, consumer laws, and company quality control standards can provide a measure of protection to buyers. Nevertheless, there are still malfunctioning products intentionally or unintentionally sold on the market.

A personal injury lawyer handles cases in which customers directly or indirectly get injured because of defective products. The manufacturer that designed, produced, or sold this product could be held liable for the injuries that their negligence has caused to consumers.

Workers’ Compensation Cases

Employees who get injured in the workplace are entitled to workers’ compensation. Employers are responsible for covering the medical expenses incurred to treat the employees’ injuries. They are also required to provide disability benefits and lost income compensation if the workers become disabled.

A personal injury attorney negotiates with the employer and insurance companies to ensure they properly compensate the injured employee.

Premises Liability Cases

Property owners are responsible for maintaining the safety and well-being of people who visit their premises by taking the necessary precautions to protect the people who go to their house, office, or land. However, some tenants, guests, or even trespassers are occasionally harmed by hazards on the property.

A PI lawyer can legally represent individuals who became injured because of dangerous materials, toxic chemicals, swimming pool accidents, poisoning, faulty wiring, lax security, and insufficient lighting on the site.

Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient sustains injuries because of the negligence of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Patients may get hurt because of surgery errors, wrong drug prescriptions, and misdiagnosed conditions.

A personal injury lawyer will hold healthcare institutions and professionals accountable for their inferior healthcare services, which resulted in injuries to the patient.

Physical or Sexual Assault Cases

An assault is defined as the action of inflicting physical harm or unwelcome physical contact on another person. It may be considered a crime that can lead to criminal prosecution. However, it could also be counted as civil liability. The assault victim has the option to take civil action against the offender who intentionally harmed them.

A personal injury attorney can help victims get compensated for the physical injuries, medical expenses, and therapy costs, which they may need to treat their psychological trauma.

How Do I Find a Good Personal Injury Attorney?

There are many personal injury attorneys in California and all over the country. However, the best PI lawyer for your personal injury case is based on their specialization, experience, and location.

These are some ways that you can find a personal injury lawyer:

Recommendations From Colleagues and Friends

Ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues who have successfully made their own personal injury claims with the assistance of personal injury attorneys. Gain valuable insights on the working techniques of the lawyers they mention based on real-life stories. While personal recommendations are useful, keep in mind that you still need to research the technical qualifications of the attorneys they recommend.

Bar Association Referrals

View the lawyer listings of local bar associations. The names of the available lawyers are usually organized based on their legal specialization. Take note that the quality of bar association referrals may vary. Some referral services screen lawyers meticulously based on certain qualifications, while others include all attorneys that have a good standing with the state bar association.

Law Firm Websites

Explore the websites of law firms in your state and district. Official law firm websites contain important information about the legal services they provide and the personal injury claims they specialize in. These sites will also give you an overview of the personal injury attorneys who form the legal team of each law firm.

Initial Legal Consultations

Some law firms offer free initial consultations for potential clients like you. Participating in these consultations is one of the best ways to select a suitable PI lawyer for your personal injury claim. During your consultation, you will get a real-life glimpse of each attorney’s working style and personality. It will also give you the chance to ask questions about the firm’s legal services and fees.

Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer From the Law Offices of John J. Perlstein

Hiring a personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of John J. Perlstein is the ideal option for you if you need legal assistance with your personal injury case in Los Angeles and other areas of Southern California. A PI lawyer from our law firm will help you receive the maximum compensation for your medical bills and other injury-related expenses.

Our legal team is highly experienced in handling personal injury claims, such as car accidents, product defects, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and more. Call us at (213) 252-1070 or send us a message today to schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorneys.