What is a Personal Injury Lawyer and Why Do I Need One?
If you were injured in an accident, you’ve probably been told by friends and family to contact a personal injury lawyer. This can lead to a lot of questions, including “What is a personal injury lawyer and why do I need one.”
The truth is many people will go through their whole lives without ever needing a personal injury lawyer. You may be aware that personal injury lawyers exist, after all their commercials and billboards are all over the place, but those ads do little to explain what an injury lawyer actually does for their clients.
Well, we’re here to help. Thomas J. Henry Law has worked solely in personal injury law for nearly 30 years. Over that time, we have helped thousands of clients, most of whom had never spoken with a lawyer prior to calling our firm.
This article will explain what a personal injury lawyer is and how one may be able to assist you.
What is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer is a person who provides legal representation to individuals who have been injured in an accident or by the negligent or careless acts of another person, entity, or organization. Their job is to use the legal system to secure financial compensation for the injuries and expenses suffered by the injured person – also called damages.
Personal injury lawyers may also be called personal injury attorneys with both terms being used interchangeably to describe the professions.
Types of Cases Personal Injury Lawyers Handle
A personal injury lawyer will typically handle any case that involves negligence and results in the injury. Among the most common types of cases handled by this type of lawyer are:
- 18-wheeler accidents
- Auto accidents
- Back injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Child injuries
- Company vehicle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Neck injuries
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Spinal cord injuries
- Trucking accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Wrongful death claims
It is important to remember that personal injury lawyers will not only seek compensation for economic damages you have suffered, like lost wages and medical bills. They may also pursue non-economic damages and may sue for emotional distress as well as pain and suffering damages.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
As part of the claims process, a personal injury lawyer will:
- Investigate claims – When you call a lawyer, the first thing they will do is review your claim. This will help you understand the merits of your case. It can also provide you with the information necessary to decide if you want to hire a lawyer.
- Gather evidence – A personal injury lawyer will gather evidence to support the client’s claim. This may include procuring police reports, tracking down witnesses, gathering photographs of the accident, and retaining documents related to property damage and medical treatment.
- Negotiate with insurance companies – Personal injury lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies. Instead of facing the insurer yourself, your lawyer may speak with them on your behalf to prevent you from saying or doing anything that may jeopardize your claim, like giving a recorded statement.
- Send demand letters – A personal injury lawyer will send a demand letter to the insurance company or defendant stating the facts of the accident and demanding an appropriate amount of compensation for the plaintiff.
- Preparing pleadings – If the insurance company or defendants refuse to offer a fair settlement, your lawyer may prepare a complaint against the defendant. This document will set out the legal arguments of why the defendant is responsible for your accident and injuries. It will also state the amount in damages you are seeking.
- Conduct discovery – Discover is the process in which a personal injury lawyer sends interrogatories to the defendant asking for certain information. They may also conduct depositions on the defendant, witnesses, and experts.
- Represent clients at trial – If your case proceeds to trial, your personal injury lawyer will represent you in court. Our lawyers are familiar with courtroom proceedings and have spent countless hours successfully arguing cases in front of judges and juries.
While your case could be resolved at any point in the personal injury claims process, the best personal injury lawyers will still prepare your case as though it is going to trial to ensure you are in the best position to achieve full compensation.
Education and Professional Skills
Personal injury lawyers are required to earn their law degree, also called a Juris Doctor or Doctor of Jurisprudence, from an accredited law school. If they wish to represent clients, they must also pass written bar examinations for the states or federal courts in which they wish to practice. For example, a lawyer who has graduated from law school cannot represent clients in Texas until they have passed the State Bar of Texas examination.
Lawyers also complete continuing education courses and training throughout their career and may seek to become certified as specialists in certain aspects of the law. For example, a Texas personal injury lawyer may seek to become certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specializations.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
There are a number of reasons why you may need a personal injury lawyer. You were injured in an accident. The insurance company is denying your claim. You are not familiar with your rights as an injured victim. These are great reasons to hire a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim.
If you are wondering why you need the help of a personal injury lawyer, call one and ask. Reputable injury lawyers typically offer free case consultations to injured victims. This means you are able to speak with a licensed lawyer about your accident or injuries with no obligation. The lawyer will review your case and help you determine the next steps to take.
If you choose to hire a personal injury attorney, look for one that works on a contingency fee basis. In this arrangement, the lawyer only gets paid if and when they win your case. You pay them nothing up front or while they are handling your claim.
But that is not the only benefit of a contingency fee agreement. Because your lawyer will only get paid if they win your case, you can trust that the lawyer sees merit in your claim. They are willing to invest their time and money litigating your case because they are sure they can win it.
Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Ready to take the next step? Then call Thomas J. Henry Law now for your free case review. We have licensed personal injury lawyers in San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Houston ready to assist you. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and we always work on a contingency fee basis.
Do not wait, call now for your no-obligation case consultation.