The main goal of a personal injury lawyer is to help a client recover medically and financially after suffering an injury, illness, or economic loss caused by the negligence of another party. Many people never expect to need legal representation until an unexpected accident, such as a slip and fall on private property, a car accident caused by a drunk driver, or a dog owner’s failure to control a dangerous animal. Whatever the cause of a personal injury may be, a personal injury lawyer’s primary goal in every case should be to maximize their client’s recovery.
Personal Injury Lawyer Responsibilities
A personal injury lawyer will function as your intermediary between you, the court, and the defendant in your case. Your attorney should handle all your legal concerns on your behalf, including corresponding with the defendant’s legal counsel, coordinating court appearances, submitting documentation as required by the court, and ultimately building your lawsuit from the ground up. Your attorney can also help you ensure that your case meets all procedural requirements with the court.
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After meeting with a personal injury lawyer and agreeing to their legal representation, their first task is to investigate your claim fully. The attorney should review all the documentation and evidence you can provide to get the most precise understanding possible of your situation. If your case seems to have any holes in it, such as a lack of physical evidence or missing documentation, it’s your attorney’s job to locate the evidence you need to compile your claim.
Many personal injuries require correspondence with insurance carriers, too, and dealing with insurance companies is notoriously difficult in the US. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they act as your representative in legal matters and can communicate with an insurer on your behalf. Simply having an attorney is enough to diminish the chances of push back against a valid insurance claim.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer’s Role in Your Case Proceedings
A personal injury attorney will go much further beyond building your case when you need personal injury representation. Most personal injury lawsuits in the United States settle outside of court. This generally leads to both plaintiffs and defendants saving significant amounts of time and money on legal fees by allowing them to negotiate a settlement to the matter privately. If you plan to negotiate your settlement, your attorney can help you build a compelling case that clearly outlines the full extent of your damages and your expectations for resolution.
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If your case is more complex and litigation is necessary, your attorney will be your advocate in the courtroom. Litigation begins with discovery, or the process of the parties involved in a legal dispute sharing their documentation, evidence, witness lists, and sworn statements, so there are no surprises in the courtroom. Your personal injury lawyer will handle discovery on your behalf, prepare any pleadings you need to file with the court, and represent you during trial sessions.
How Much Can My Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me Recover?
The amount of compensation you could receive from a successful personal injury lawsuit depends on the severity of your damages. Your personal injury lawyer’s job is to fully assess all the tangible and intangible losses you incurred from your experience. The goal of a personal injury claim is to return you to as close to your condition before your incident as possible. Some of the damages a personal injury lawyer can help you recover in your claim include:
- Medical expenses, including both current and future costs of medical treatment that you need due to the defendant’s actions. You can claim compensation for hospital invoices, surgery bills, prescription pills, necessary medical devices, and ongoing treatments until you reach maximum medical recovery.
- Pain and suffering, which seeks to compensate for the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional trauma of a personal injury, can be very substantial in some cases. Judges seek to award pain and suffering in proportion to a plaintiff’s medical expenses. For example, if you sustained $30,000 in medical expenses due to a severe injury that caused you weeks or months of pain, the judge may award $60,000 or more to reflect the severity of your injury.
- Property damages, which cover the cost of repairing or replacing any personal property that the defendant damaged or destroyed. Property damage can also refer to economic damage, such as lost business profitability or lost investment value.
- Lost income for wages lost after an injury and in recovery. Your personal injury may have forced you to stay home and recuperate for several weeks or even months, leaving you unable to work. A severe injury could have caused a permanent disability that prevents you from working. Your personal injury lawyer can help you recover short and long-term losses from lost income due to a defendant’s actions, and it may even be possible to secure compensation for your lost future earning potential from a permanent injury.
Ultimately, the recovery from a personal injury case could be more substantial than you might expect at first. The right personal injury lawyer will provide invaluable guidance and security throughout your legal proceedings. If you need a personal injury lawyer in Indiana, Michigan, or Ohio, contact Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault today to schedule a free case consultation.
Jonathan Ashton, Partner and Personal Injury Attorney, began his law career at GT&B in 2007 as a law clerk. He was hired as an associate immediately after passing the Ohio Bar in 2008. Jonathan practices in Personal Injury, representing clients who have been injured and need justice and compensation for them to move forward in their lives.