A personal injury lawyer comes to your aid, when you have suffered loss to your health, well-being or property, due to the negligent act of another. Learn more about personal injury lawyer job description through this CareerStint article.
Before we discuss what does a personal injury lawyer do, let us first try and understand the precise meaning of the legal term – Personal Injury. This field falls within the ambit of the US Civil and Tort Laws. It includes absolutely everything, which may cause harm to the life and safety of a citizen. The term life and safety are not narrow and include life in context to its quality, treatment, insurance, employment, remuneration and physical safety. However, tort cases are not accompanied with imprisonment or a jail term. These cases only ask for monetary compensation, which is paid to the aggrieved party.
Some of the areas covered by personal injury protection are car insurance, health insurance and property cases, where injury has occurred to the aggrieved party. It also occurs when an individual or company fails to or refuses to comply with its responsibility or causes harm, such as an individual causing injury to another part due to reckless driving, or the insurance company paying little or not paying at all, for the injured person’s treatment, even though it is supposed to.
A second example can be, that X had all his electric equipment damaged, because of dysfunctional electric wiring in the landlord’s house, in which case, the landlord will be liable to pay in compensation. The entire concept follows the principle of restitution for negligence done through damages to be paid to the victim.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Let us take a fictitious example, in which Ellen was returning from the mall, and while she was placing her groceries in her car, was injured by another vehicle, which was reversing. The negligent driver is Bob, who for some reason, failed to notice Ellen, through his rear view mirror. Here is how the case will follow through:
- The lawyer will investigate as to how the personal injury took place by checking the facts, talking to witnesses and watching security videos, if any.
- The case will be charged against Bob alone and not the owners of the parking lot.
- The lawyer will then settle on a compensatory price with his client (Ellen) and discuss the same with the negligent part (Bob), because of whose negligence the injury was caused.
- After which, if Bob agrees to the price, an arbitration agreement will be conducted and both parties will settle the case out of court.
- However, if Bob refuses to pay the compensation, a law suit will be filed against him, and proper court proceedings will be conducted.
Cases Where Personal Injury Lawyers are Needed
- These specialized lawyers are needed in situations where the personal injury has resulted in severe injuries or death of a family member.
- When the insurance company refuses to pay for the treatment coverage of the injured party or pays far lesser than what was promised under the contract, such lawyers comes into the picture.
- They also look after cases wherein there is a medical malpractice and harm has befallen the suing party.
- When a wrongful suit has been filed against the client by the other parties, then a personal injury lawyer takes over from there.
- When premise liability has taken place, wherein the aggrieved client had to suffer some form of injury and personal harm or loss, while being on the land or premise of the accused party, then such cases are taken over by these specialized lawyers. These include wide areas such as public amusement parks and accident occurring within the vicinity, landlord liability, mining accidents, workmen compensation for injuries while at work, and all public places of recreation.
- The lawyer also handles cases of defamation, slander and libel.
- Cases of assault and battery are also handled by such lawyers.
- High expense cases of product fault and liability are taken over by these lawyers.
- Cases of permanent injury, wrongful death and emotional distress are also cases, which fall within the ambit of personal injury.
The average, personal injury lawyer salary, usually is never fixed nor is it predictable. They do not charge on hourly or daily basis but instead choose payment for punitive damages. This means that once the case has been accepted by the court, the lawyer will ask for a percentage of the compensation as his fees. This percentage will increase according to the amount of compensation as per the scale of the case. High profile cases are charged a lot more and sometimes may charge as much as 40% of the award being paid in favor of the client. The losing part still has to pay their lawyer, as per the percentage decided in advance.