What Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A car accident, a fall while shopping or a defective product are only some of the many hazards people face every day that have the potential for causing serious injuries. Accidents happen suddenly and without warning, so you need to be prepared by knowing how to protect your rights and obtain compensation when someone’s reckless, negligent, or intentional conduct is the cause.
One of the first calls to make after an accident should be to a personal injury attorney. An attorney whose practice focuses on personal injury law can be an invaluable resource for legal advice and guidance with answers to the many questions and concerns that normally arise following injury-causing events.
“Do I need a lawyer?” and “Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer?” are two of the most frequently asked questions asked by accident victims. This article answers them by taking a look at what a personal injury lawyer does, and how it can make a difference in the outcome of your claim for damages.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
At least one of the courses students take in law school introduces them to tort law, which is the area of law that deals with civil rather than criminal wrongs. Tort law provides a means for making a person whole again after being injured or wronged by someone. The wrong could be damage to a person’s reputation or good name through libel or slander, or it could be physical harm caused by negligence or other forms of wrongful conduct that causes a person to suffer physical or emotional trauma, which lawyers refer to as a personal injury claim.
A personal injury lawyer is someone with years of experience gained after graduation from law school practicing in the field of tort law handling all types of personal injury cases, including:
- Auto and truck accidents.
- Medical malpractice.
- Bicycle accidents.
- Premises liability and slip-and-fall accidents.
- Dog bites and animal attacks.
- Boating accidents.
- Swimming pool accidents.
- Construction accidents.
- Defective products.
- Pedestrian accidents.
- Motorcycle crashes.
- Nursing home abuse.
- Nursing home accidents.
- Wrongful death.
Personal injury claims may arise from intentional conduct. For instance, an assault may result in police arresting your attacker and filing criminal charges, but you may have a right to sue for damages caused by the assault. An experienced personal injury attorney may review the facts of an intentional tort case and discover evidence pointing toward someone other than just the attacker as being at fault. For example, the owner of the property on which an attack occurred, such as the parking lot of a shopping mall, may be liable for failing to have adequate lighting or failing to provide adequate security in the area.
It takes years of experience evaluating the facts and evidence of personal injury cases to learn the skills needed to develop successful strategies to aggressively pursue damage claims on behalf of victims injured due to the conduct of other parties. Not only do lawyers handling tort claims have outstanding investigative and analytical skills, but they also must have years of litigation experience and the ability to effectively present evidence to persuade a judge or a panel of jurors to award damages to make a wronged victim whole again.
Lawyers concentrating on personal injury law must be effective negotiators capable of advocating on your behalf against seasoned claims adjusters for insurance companies. Adjusters spend their entire careers protecting insurance companies by attempting to settle cases for far less than what victims deserve and are entitled to receive. At the Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, the personal injury lawyer NC representing you has only one objective and that is to secure for you maximum compensation whether by using unsurpassed negotiating skills or by going to trial.
Letting You Concentrate on Recovering from Your Injuries
Retaining a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim immediately removes a huge burden from your shoulders. Getting the medical care and treatment you need along with physical therapy, occupational therapy and much-needed rest are essential to recovering from serious injuries.
The last thing on your mind should be returning calls to insurance companies, attempting to locate and contact witnesses to the accident, attempting to obtain copies of police reports about the accident, and anything else that does not exclusively relate to your primary task of doing what is needed to heal and get better. A personal injury attorney takes care of all things related to your accident, including contacting insurance companies and collecting statements from witnesses, police reports, and other evidence supporting the claim for damages.A Lawyer Reviews Your Case and Offers Options for Protecting Your Rights
The first meeting with a personal injury lawyer in NC may be devoted to collecting information about your injuries and the circumstances under which they occurred. The lawyer needs to get your version of the event as soon as it happened while it is still fresh in your mind. The information you provide allows your lawyer to understand what occurred, what caused it, and identify parties that may be responsible.
For example, if you are injured when an out-of-control truck crashes into your car. Your auto accident lawyer may hear your version of what happened and investigate further to determine if the accident may have been caused by the truck being improperly loaded. This could lead to a claim against the shipping company in addition to the driver of the truck. Identifying at-fault parties and gathering the evidence needed to build a strong case against them takes the experience and know-how developed over years of analyzing the causes of personal injury claims and knowing what the law requires to prove fault.
North Carolina remains among only a handful of states that continue to follow a strict interpretation of the contributory negligence rule in personal injury cases. The rule states that any fault on the part of a person suffering injuries through the negligence of another party may not recover damages. The fact that a jury finds the party being sued to be 99% at fault will not allow it to compensate a person suffering serious injuries if the evidence shows the victim to be as little as 1% at fault.
An NC personal injury lawyer knows to anticipate contributory negligence and other defenses that may be raised to weaken your case. Anticipating challenges and developing a strategy to overcome them can significantly improve the chance of a successful outcome.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Makes a Difference
Once your attorney has your version of what occurred, the investigative work begins to gather the evidence and reveal facts that may conflict with your recollection of the event or add to it. Part of the investigative process includes the following:
- Identifying witnesses and obtaining statements from them.
- Taking photos of where the accident took place.
- Taking possession of and preserving defective products that caused you to be injured.
- Obtaining copies of police reports or accident reports filed with a business.
- Locate video of the incident from security cameras at or near the location.
- Contact physicians, hospitals, and other providers of medical services that treated you and arrange to obtain copies of their medical records.
- Contact doctors treating you for preexisting conditions that could have been worsened by the accident and obtain copies of their records.
When your lawyer has the evidence to prove the cause of your injuries and the parties responsible for them, a letter informing the parties and their insurance carriers of your claim and the fact that you have a personal injury attorney representing you is sent.
Negotiating on Your Behalf
Negotiations to resolve your claim may be initiated by your lawyer or by insurance companies for the at-fault parties. This may take place either before or after litigation is commenced by your lawyer against the parties responsible for causing you to be injured.
One of the benefits of working with a personal injury attorney whose practice focuses on tort litigation is that insurance companies know that some lawyers are reluctant to take a case to trial or lack experience litigating personal injury claims. A lawyer with a reputation as an experienced personal injury attorney who takes cases to trial when necessary to obtain the compensation accident victims deserve represents a formidable challenge to claims adjusters during negotiations. Adjusters know that low-ball offers to settle will be unacceptable to a lawyer prepared to aggressively fight and take a case to trial to get the maximum recovery for a victim who has been wronged.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Unsurpassed knowledge of tort law combined with courtroom experience makes an NC personal injury lawyer from The Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, a formidable advocate committed to obtaining the compensation you deserve for injuries caused by the wrongful conduct of another party. Regardless of how you were injured, we will devote the necessary time to build a strong case against anyone the evidence identifies as being at fault. Let us review the facts and circumstances of your personal injury claim with you during a free consultation by calling today at 833-680-0177.