What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do

A personal injury lawyer handles negligence cases in which someone is injured by the carelessness or intentional conduct of another person. Unlike criminal lawyers, who handle cases that involve a crime, personal injury attorneys do not prosecute their clients but rather defend them in civil lawsuits. These civil lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of a person seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost income and other damages.

A good personal injury lawyer knows how to collect evidence to support the case. They may visit police stations, gather traffic camera footage and talk to eyewitnesses. They also know what experts to hire to investigate how an accident occurred, such as a vehicle or product crash reconstruction expert.

After gathering the appropriate information, a personal injury lawyer performs a detailed liability analysis. This involves reviewing applicable statutes, case law and common law to establish a valid rationale for pursuing a claim against the defendant. This process is more time consuming when the claim is complex and involves unique legal theories.

To determine the value of a claim, a personal injury lawyer reviews medical records and obtains confirmation from employment loss consultants regarding the amount of wage losses suffered as a result of the injury. In cases involving catastrophic or severe injuries, the attorney might also consult with an economist to project future costs for continued treatment and disability.

Once a case has been filed, the personal injury lawyer negotiates with insurance companies and other parties. They are often able to obtain significantly higher settlements than the injured party would on their own.

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