Many of us have seen advertisements on TV or billboards on the side of the highway for personal injury law firms but not all of us have been in the situation of making the call to a real personal injury lawyer before. So what do you do when you’re injured in a car accident, bitten by the neighbor’s dog, or suffered an injury while using a product that malfunctioned in some way? Or say you’re having a difficult time negotiating issues with an insurance company and don’t know how to proceed–what do you do?
Well just as thousands of Americans do every single year when in similar situations, you find an experienced personal injury lawyer who will advocate for your rights and whatever restitution you’re entitled to as a result of your injury.
What is a personal injury, anyway?
First things first, let’s describe what we mean when talk about personal injury, or PI (sometimes also referred to as BI, or Bodily Injury, by insurance companies). The term Personal Injury is a legal term that encompasses any injury suffered by an individual, be it physical, mental, or emotional, which was caused as a result of the negligence or harmful actions of another person, company or other entity.
Common types of Personal Injury include:
- Auto accidents
- Airplane/boating accidents
- Construction site injuries
- Malfunctioning or defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents where you are not at fault
Tort Law and Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury lawyers are also referred to as trial, or plaintiff lawyers, which means that they litigate civil trials and provide legal representation for their clients who have suffered a Personal Injury. The area of law that personal injury lawyers specialize in is called tort law, an area which includes cases involving private or civil injuries, as well as defamation cases and bad faith breach of contract.
As a professional in the area of tort law, a personal injury lawyer seeks to do whatever he or she can to make their injured client whole in every sense of the word, as well as to discourage the conditions and actions which caused the Personal Injury, made possible by the responsible party, from ever taking place again.
How will a Personal Injury Lawyer advocate on my behalf?
Typically, a Personal Injury Lawyer will specialize in a specific type of Personal Injury case and will know how best to go about getting you, the client, fair compensation for any and all losses and expenses you suffered as a direct result of the Personal Injury in question. Some of the following examples are common damages and consequences resulting from PI, that can be financially compensated for, and they include:
- Physical disability
- Lost wages, medical bills
- Pain, suffering, emotional and mental anguish or disability
- Loss of enjoyment or a loss of companionship
Additionally, your Personal Injury Lawyer will perform tasks like investigating the actual PI claim and evaluating the merits and validity of the case, putting together legal theories after gathering evidence and researching similar case law, interviewing witnesses to the PI, and counseling you, their client in terms of what your most likely path to restitution will look like.
So if you ever find yourself in a situation where you suffer a Personal Injury as the result of the negligence of someone else and you aren’t sure what to do, remember that Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you! And while most PI cases don’t end up going to trial, the majority of Personal Injury Lawyers are compensated on the contingency that you win your case, which means they don’t recover fees if your case isn’t successful.