What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer that provides legal representation for victims of accidents and serious injuries. These injuries can be physical, like a broken neck, or psychological, like manic depression. Because personal injury law is competitive, only the best of the best can practice in this field. Common cases that they litigate are: work-related injuries slip and fall cases, car and other vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products. According to Los Angeles personal injury attorney, more than half of law students who plan to enter this field end up not doing it due to the difficulties that these lawyers face. The difficulties will not be discussed here, but personal injury is the most difficult field to enter.
As the name implies, work injuries are those injuries that are related to one's job. For example, if you were working and you sprained your ankle, you may have a case of negligence against your employer. Although such case fits more conveniently under the category of workers compensation, a personal injury lawyer would have enough knowledge (and hopefully expertise) to take such cases. In the United States, employers usually have insurance for such accidents, and it will be the insurance that your attorney will be contacting.
Again, as implied by the name, slip and fall cases are ones involving slipping and falling. Most of the time, these cases happen at a store's premises. You may have encountered warning cones at stores, alerting customers of wet floors or loose wiring. This is a safety measure to make sure customers are careful while walking around that area so they don't fall. If someone slips, or trips and gets injured at a store, liability will have to be established because the store is not always liable. If the store knew, or should have known, that an area was not safe, and you were injured because they did not provide sufficient warning, then you may have a valid claim against them.
Vehicle accidents include, but are not limited to, car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. You may be a driver in one of the vehicles and get injured, or you may be a pedestrian. In both cases, your lawyer will have to establish liability by figuring out what exactly happened. He may speak to witnesses, other drivers that were involved in the accident, and he may also look at police reports. In these cases, it will most likely be the insurance companies that will fight it out. Of course, insurance companies care about their profits more than anything else, so they will try everything they can to deny your claim and somehow make you go away. Your accident lawyer will be contacting them to ask for relief.
Medical malpractice is the most widely misunderstood word in the field of personal injury law. If you have had a medical procedure and the result was not what you were expecting, that does not automatically mean that you have a case against your doctor. Medical malpractice really just means that your doctor did not perform the procedure in a way that any reasonable doctor in the same field would find satisfying. For example, imagine a scenario where someone has a tumor removed and develops a severe infection, having to amputate a body part. If the doctor took all reasonable measures that the medical literature dictates, and you developed the infection, the doctor did not commit any acts of negligence. Now, imagine the doctor used a dirty medical instrument to perform his surgery. In that case, he would be guilty of negligence because no reasonable doctor in the same field would do that. There is a lot more to it than that. For example, a lot of questions need to be answered. If a patient is not conscious, there are certain rules that have to be followed. Legally speaking, the patient could potentially sue the people that took care of him and say he did not want to be helped. The law says that if the patient is unconscious, then the medical personnel have the right to touch him and perform operations on him and do whatever it takes to make him healthy. A lawyer would call this implied consent. It is understood that a reasonable person would agree, or consent, to such treatments. If you would like a thorough (and time-consuming) review, please check the website of NYU School of Law and click on the tabs on the right hand side of the page.
In the field of personal injury, lawyers usually do not charge a consultation fee. If you have been injured, contact a personal injury lawyer for help.