When you hear the words "personal injury lawyer", what do you think of first? If you're like most people, you probably conjur up images of someone with an ad on the television encouraging you to sue anyone and everyone for something bad that happened to you. Although a lawsuit may sometimes be involved, that's actually a small part of a personal injury attorney's job.
Protect Your Rights
The primary role of a personal injury lawyer is to protect YOU and your rights. Unless you've had some experience, you likely don't walk around all day knowing what your rights are if someone hits you in a car accident, if you're hurt at work or out running errands, or if you become disabled as the result of an accident.
A personal injury lawyer's job - my job - is to know the finer points of those laws and regulations and fight for your rights within them. If you're in any type of accident and trying to get help paying for your medical expenses or bills, you're likely fighting entities much bigger than you are. My job as a personal injury attorney is to help you take on those large entities and stick up for your rights.
Let's face it. No one seeks a lawyer simply to make a point. You want compensation. You think you deserve compensation for what's happened to you. You may be right. As a personal injury attorney, I listen to your case, evaluate its merits and discuss potential courses of action.
While one course of action may be a lawsuit, more often cases are settled out of court. To assist with that, and to build a case should it wind up in front of a judge, a personal injury attorney collects information. To gather all the information necessary to build your case, a personal injury attorney may interview witnesses, request and watch copies of surveillance or security video, subpoena records from the opposing side and more.
Negotiate On Your Behalf
Once your personal injury lawyer has gathered all the necessary information, they work on negotiating a fair settlement for you. This may include meeting with opposing counsel, exchanging letters or emails with you and the opposition or involving a mediator.
In most cases, an agreement is reached using these methods. In some instances, the opposing side is not willing to settle and the case goes to court. If that happens, a personal injury attorney's role is still the same - to protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf. If you're asked to testify, a personal injury attorney is there to make sure opposing counsel doesn't step on your rights.
As you can see, a personal injury lawyer is all about YOU.