Automotive collisions, falls and animal attacks happen every day. These incidents often leave those involved injured physically, emotionally and financially. It is the job of a personal injury attorney to help these individuals recover damages from those responsible for their harms. But knowing this may not be enough to truly understand just what these lawyers do for their clients. Let's take a closer look at what a personal injury attorney is and how they do their jobs.
What Is a Personal Injury Attorney?
The first part of understanding what personal injury lawyers do is understanding what they are. Attorneys are highly trained legal representatives who can give you legal advice as well as represent you in court. They often spend years learning the ins and outs of the law so they can help their clients in a meaningful way. When these attorneys represent an individual who has been injured by someone else's negligence, they are called personal injury attorneys.
How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Help the Injured?
The next part of understanding what PI (personal injury) attorneys do, is understanding how they help their clients. When negligence or a wrongful act leads to someone's injury, an attorney can help that person recover damages for their losses. In California, damages that you can recover compensation for include:
- Economic losses such as
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Non-economic losses such as
- Physical impairments caused by the incident
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
The damages that you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit vary depending on your circumstances. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you determine what damages you should claim.
The process for gathering evidence is both important and rigorous. In addition, the attorney will investigate and determine as best as they can what amount of insurance is available to compensate the injured person as fully and completely as possible. Mistakes in presenting evidence, or producing the wrong evidence, or not looking for all available insurance can have adverse consequences for your claim. Undertaking such a task while recovering from an injury is often too taxing. A personal injury attorney helps their clients gather evidence such as:
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony
Attorneys also know the statutes of limitations (time limits) that you must meet to file your case. Missing these deadlines is another way your case can go wrong. The attorney can help you stay up to date with the court.
If you suffer an injury due to someone else's negligence, you may also need help negotiating with the other parties involved. For example, people injured in car accidents usually deal with insurance companies. These companies focus on their bottom line and may attempt to get you to agree to a low settlement. Personal injury attorneys are aware of their strategies and can help combat them. Similarly, trucking companies also have strategies to reduce settlements. If you do not know their strategies, getting compensation may not be possible. Your attorney can help.
What Type of Cases Does a Personal Injury Attorney Take?
Knowledge, experience and training often determine what type of case a personal injury attorney will take. Here at Dolen, Tucker, Tierney & Abraham, our personal injury lawyer, James F. Tierney, III takes the following types of cases:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Wrongful death
- Defective products
- Dangerous roads
- Slip/trip and falls
We also offer a free no-obligation consultation for personal injury cases. During this time, we can help you figure out your next steps and if our Redlands law firm is the right fit for you. Remember, understanding what a personal injury attorney does can help you choose the right one. Do not be afraid to ask questions, they will help determine if an attorney matches your needs.