A personal injury lawyer is an attorney who offers legal representation to those who claim to be injured, psychologically or physically, as the result of the wrongdoing of another individual, business, government agency or some entity. Personal injury attorneys primarily practice in the field of tort law. Tort law governs how pecuniary damages and/or non-pecuniary damages are handled. In other words, personal injury lawyers will work to obtain money for clients who have been wrongfully injured. They also represent the interests of their clients in pursuing litigation to recover pecuniary losses, whether from injuries, death, or economic losses, from corporations and government agencies that are responsible for the injury.
Most personal injury lawyers are employed by law firms. Attorneys are often employed by individual clients or by law firms on a part-time or full-time basis. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contract basis, retaining only a portion of the compensation they receive when they win a case from a jury trial or settlement agreement. The remaining part of the award, known as the contingent fee, is usually paid by the losing party’s insurance carrier or by the insurer’s underwriters. Typically, personal injury lawyers work on contingency fee agreements only.
Personal injury lawyers have many professional responsibilities. They must take care of all the legalities associated with the cases, including gathering all the necessary information and presenting the case to the judge or jury. Along with these duties, an attorney must also take care of his or her client’s other responsibilities as well. In some instances, the attorney must assist the client in preparing for his or her testimony before a judge or jury and must advise the client regarding post-loss settlements. Personal injury lawyers may also take care of any other business matters, such as arranging for the client’s relocation to a new place if he or she cannot be physically present in court.
There are a number of personal injury attorneys who work on contingency fees. Some of them are employed by the defense or provide litigation support services for their clients. Others are self-employed and perform other kinds of work, including administrative work. Some personal injury attorneys also handle the bulk of the work themselves and perform all the major work themselves. For example, if one plaintiff requires long-term care and his or her salary can’t cover the expenses, the attorney may have to find some additional funding.
Most states require an injury lawyer to be licensed. The requirements vary by state. In some states, you have to be licensed through the state bar exam. In other states, the attorney has to get a CPL, or continuing professional license. Although these requirements vary by state, a majority of states require injury lawyers to be licensed through the state bar exam.
Before taking the bar exam, it is wise for you to become familiar with the rules, regulations, and procedures. You should get a thorough education in criminal law and personal injury laws. You can either take the bar exam through the American Bar Association, or through the National Association of Legal Assistants. Both ways will give you a general knowledge of how the process works.
A good personal injury lawyer handles cases that deal with lost wages. Lost wages and medical bills are quite common after a car accident. If you were at fault and you caused the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you have gone through because of injuries you sustained. You might also be entitled to compensation for lost wages from having to miss work due to your injuries as well as for the medical bills you have incurred.
A personal injury lawyer may also handle cases involving premises liability, which means that he or she tries to recover damages from property owners or operators who were responsible for causing injuries to visitors on their premises. Some of these cases include a person slipping and falling on a sidewalk; a person tripping on a broken pavement; or a person being injured while on another person’s property. Personal injury lawyers handle all of these cases, which can make it difficult for you to know where to begin in your quest for compensation.