What’s the Role of an Attorney in a Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury attorneys stand up for and protect the rights of individuals harmed in accidents caused by another person’s wrongdoing. Their functions involve a broad range of tasks, each contributing to the goal of pursuing compensation for their clients to help make them whole again.
Getting the Client’s Side of the Story
One of the first things a personal injury attorney will do is interview their client to understand the situation from the individual’s perspective. The lawyer will ask a lot of questions not just about the accident itself but also about its effects.
For instance, they’ll want to know about:
- The injuries their client suffered,
- The way the injuries affected the individual’s day-to-day life,
- The extent of the medical treatment their client received and whether ongoing treatment is necessary, and
- The impacts of the injury on the individual’s ability to work.
Obtaining all relevant details allows the attorney to fully evaluate the case. They can then identify possible issues and ways to make a compelling argument.
The most important thing a personal injury attorney must do is establish negligence. In other words, they must show that the individual against whom action is being taken breached their duty of care and, in doing so, caused an accident resulting in harm.
Without negligence, there can be no personal injury case, as no one could be held responsible for damages.
Determining negligence requires that the attorney thoroughly investigate the matter. They aim to gather evidence supporting their assertions that the other party was at fault.
To do this, they will review things such as:
- Police reports,
- Surveillance video,
- Photos and videos, and
- Witness statements
The lawyer may also reach out to individuals like accident reconstruction or medical experts who can provide a professional analysis of what happened.
Personal injury claims and lawsuits are filed to help the victim recover compensation for damages they suffered.
A financial settlement enables the injured party to cover expenses and losses, including:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Pain/suffering, and/or
- Loss of consortium or companionship
It also sends a message to negligent parties that their actions have consequences, possibly preventing future reckless actions.
Protecting Clients’ Rights
The attorney will be their client’s advocate throughout a personal injury case. They will ensure that their client’s voice is heard. They work to show the other side that their client is a person who has been harmed and needs compensation to cover damages sustained.
The lawyer also protects the client from being taken advantage of by insurance companies. They handle communications with the insurer and negotiate with representatives to seek a fair settlement. They will let their client know if the company’s offer is reasonable and what the next steps are if it isn’t.
If the case cannot be resolved out of court, the personal injury attorney will file a lawsuit on behalf of their client. They will develop a legal strategy encompassing their client’s arguments, the supporting evidence, and the relief sought.
The lawyer will then present the case before a judge or jury.
Keeping the Client Informed
At the beginning of the case, the attorney will inform their client of the rights and legal processes involved. They will discuss pertinent laws, such as those concerning the statute of limitations. They will help the client understand medical and legal terms that may come up in the case.
At every stage in the case, the lawyer will keep their client updated on the progress. They must also refrain from making decisions about what happens, like accepting or rejecting a settlement offer, before talking it over with their client.
Reach Out to the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C.
A lot is involved in a personal injury case, and our firm is ready and willing to handle the legal details for you. We are meticulous in our preparation and will be your trusted ally every step. We handle car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, and birth injury cases, among others.
Schedule a consultation with a member of our Norman, OK, team by calling (866) 590-8173 or submitting an online contact form today.