What Is a Personal Injury Attorney?

personal injury attorney

You’ve seen commercials for personal injury lawyers for years. You might even know someone who has hired one after an accident. However, many people are not fully aware of what a personal injury attorney can do for them, how they can help, and why they should hire one. if they’ve been hurt in an accident that was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another. 

In this blog, the personal injury lawyers at Patterson Legal Group discuss personal injury law, provide some claim examples, and explain how an attorney can help.

Personal Injury Law Explained 

Personal injury law, also known as tort law, focuses on situations where one party suffers harm due to the actions or inaction of another party. It’s a form of civil law, meaning it deals with disputes between individuals or entities, unlike criminal law, which deals with offenses against the state. The foundation of a personal injury case rests on negligence. To win, you’ll need to prove the following elements with the help of a personal injury attorney:

  • Duty of Care: The other party had a legal duty to act in a careful and reasonable manner to avoid harm.
  • Breach of Duty: The other party failed to uphold that duty.
  • Causation: The other party’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
  • Damages: You suffered damages as a result of your injuries, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

Damages refer to the monetary compensation awarded to the injured party after an accident. These compensate for the financial losses and the intangible hardships caused by the injury. If you win your personal injury case, you may be entitled to compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses: Past, present, and future medical costs associated with your injuries.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for income you were unable to earn due to your injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional distress caused by your injuries.
  • Property damage: Reimbursement for any property damaged in the incident.
  • Punitive damages: These are awarded in rare cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or reckless. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future, rather than compensate the plaintiff directly.
  • Loss of consortium: These damages compensate for the loss of companionship, affection, and other aspects of a relationship. 

You should note that every state has different laws surrounding personal injury claims. This includes statute of limitations, types of damages that can be awarded, amounts of damages, etc. For example, in Missouri, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is five years. As Patterson Legal Group practices law in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, our personal injury attorneys can advise you on the course of action depending on your location.

Examples of Personal Injury Claims 

There are many types of personal injury claims. Most often, they are associated with car and other traffic accidents like motorcycle wrecks. However, a personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for a variety of situations, such as: 

These are some of the most common types of personal injury claims. Other situations like assault, wrongful death (if someone’s negligence caused the death of a loved one), medical malpractice, and drowning can also qualify as a personal injury. As long as the negligence or recklessness of another was the culprit of the accident and subsequent injury, a personal injury attorney can review the details and circumstances of your case and determine if you have a valid claim to seek damages.  

What Does a Personal Attorney Lawyer Do?

Personal injury lawyers wear many hats throughout the legal process. Here’s what you can expect an attorney to do for you: 

Case Evaluation and Consultation

The first step is a free consultation where the lawyer will discuss the details of your accident and injuries. They will review your case, determine if negligence was involved, and explain your legal options.

Evidence Collection and Investigation

If you decide to move forward with a personal injury claim, your lawyer will launch a thorough investigation to gather evidence that supports your case. This may involve collecting police reports, medical records, witness statements, and accident scene photos.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be stressful and confusing. Personal injury lawyers are adept at navigating insurance policies and negotiating fair settlements with adjusters. They will present a compelling case to maximize the compensation you deserve.

Medical Care and Treatment

Your lawyer can also help you access necessary medical care and ensure you receive proper treatment for your injuries. They can work with medical professionals to document the extent of your injuries and the expected course of treatment.

Legal Representation in Court

If a fair settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, your lawyer will be prepared to go to trial. They will present your arguments before a judge or jury, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Why Should I Hire an Injury Lawyer?

After an accident, you might be wondering if you should hire a lawyer. While you can technically navigate a personal injury claim yourself, you will likely not get the same favorable result you would if you were to hire a personal injury attorney. There are significant advantages to having a qualified lawyer on your side. Here’s why:

  • Legal Expertise: Personal injury law is complex, and lawyers have the knowledge and experience to build a strong case that maximizes your chances of success.
  • Negotiation Skills: Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can fight for the compensation you deserve from insurance companies.
  • Reduced Stress: Handling a legal case while recovering from an injury can be overwhelming. A lawyer takes the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on healing.
  • Leveling the Playing Field: Insurance companies have vast resources at their disposal. A lawyer helps ensure you have a strong advocate in your corner.

Besides those benefits, there are several situations where it’s highly beneficial to hire an attorney. If you’re experiencing any of these while trying to manage your claim, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer so you can receive the compensation you deserve: 

  • The insurance company is offering a lowball settlement: Insurance companies are notorious for trying to settle claims for as little as possible. A lawyer can fight for a fair settlement.
  • Your injuries are severe: Serious injuries often require extensive medical treatment and can significantly impact your ability to work. A lawyer can ensure you’re compensated for all your damages, both current and future.
  • Liability is complex: If there are multiple parties involved in the accident, or if determining fault is complicated, a lawyer can untangle the legal mess and build a strong case on your behalf.

Contact Patterson Legal Group

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer is a valuable asset. They will fight to ensure you receive fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. By entrusting your case to the legal team at Patterson Legal Group, you can be sure to have an experienced attorney by your side who will fight for you. 

With more than 75 years of combined experience successfully representing injury victims and we are ready to take on your case. We have a track record of winning superior settlements for our clients. Our firm offers free case consultation and works on a “no win, no fee” basis, which means that you do not pay a dime unless money has been recovered on your behalf.

To get started on your case, call us 24/7 at (888) 687-2400. You can also fill out this contact form or reach out via LiveChat.

The information on this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as legal advice for an individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship nor does viewing this material constitute an attorney-client relationship.