A personal injury attorney will fight for your right to fair compensation. They will work on a contingency basis meaning that they will only collect their fee after successfully recovering compensation through a jury verdict or settlement.
After gathering the case facts, your personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough liability analysis. This will involve reviewing applicable statutes, common law, and legal precedent.
When you have a consultation with a personal injury attorney, they’ll go over all of the details surrounding your accident and injury. During this time, they’ll collect documentation and determine the strength of your case. They may also request medical records and expert witness testimony.
Personal injury lawyers specialize in helping injured people and families get compensation from at-fault parties after an accident or the death of a loved one. They do this by negotiating with insurance providers or filing lawsuits in civil court against those responsible for their clients’ injuries.
Most personal injury claims involve unintentional torts, such as car accidents, slip and fall incidents, assaults and battery, and medical malpractice. But they can also include intentional torts like defamation. In either case, the basic principle is that a wrongdoer must compensate the victim to put them in the same position they were before they were harmed. This may include covering lost wages, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Preparation for Trial
During this period, the attorney will collect extensive amounts of materials, secure witnesses, conduct mediations, and work with their senior or expert attorneys to build a stronger case. It can be difficult to keep track of the myriad tasks that must be addressed and completed in this phase, and a well-organized system will help ensure that no piece of evidence is overlooked.
A thorough trial preparation includes creating binders and folders that contain the key evidence, witness outlines and brief outlines with responses to anticipated substantive arguments from the other side. The attorney must be able to call up this information instantly during trial.
It is also essential to be prepared to answer questions from defense lawyers regarding your injury claim. This line of questioning can be personal and uncomfortable, but it is necessary to fully assess your injuries. For this reason, many law schools field trial advocacy programs that teach students how to prepare for trial and deliver compelling opening and closing statements.
Filing a Claim
A personal injury attorney calculates how much your damages are worth based on several factors. They help you recover compensation for your losses, which may include financial ones like medical expenses and lost wages as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. In wrongful death cases, attorneys can also help victims’ families recover funeral and burial costs as well as loss of companionship, guidance, love and affection.
Once they know what your losses are, a personal injury attorney will inform the person or company who caused your accident and their insurance provider that you plan to file suit. This is called serving notice.
This process can last for up to a year as both parties conduct extensive discovery. This is when each party must provide information on claims, injuries, damage to property, medical treatment, invoices and receipts, and more. This information is compiled by your lawyer into a demand letter that is sent to the defendant and their insurer.
Negotiating a Settlement
Whether you are seeking compensation for your physical injuries, property damage, or other losses, your personal injury attorney will use their skills to negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement offer. They will present a package of documents, including medical bills and records, proof of lost wages, and any other relevant documentation. They will also consider your future needs when calculating damages, especially if your injuries are expected to be permanent.
Insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible, and a skilled personal injury lawyer will know how to counter their arguments and tactics. The negotiating process can take a few weeks or months, and your attorney will keep you updated throughout the negotiation.
Depending on the state and your injury, your attorney may also need to review the liable parties’ policies to ensure they are seeking compensation up to the maximum policy limits. This is particularly important in states like Georgia that use a system of comparative negligence that reduces your award proportionally to your degree of fault for the accident and injury.