Understanding the role a personal injury lawyer can help you choose legal representation when you need it most.

How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Work?

What is a personal injury lawyer

Have you ever wondered what a legal professional who handles personal injury cases does? Personal injury lawyers play a critical role when someone gets hurt because of someone else’s carelessness.

When it comes to awarding money, personal injury claims cover many situations, from a car accident injury claim to a slip-and-fall mishap. It’s all about helping accident victims get compensation in the form of a fair settlement.

Whether a personal injury attorney negotiates with an insurance company or files a personal injury lawsuit, their goal is to ensure that your medical expenses and other damages are recovered.

What is a PI plaintiff?

A personal injury attorney works hard to make sure a fair settlement is awarded and that a car accident case or other personal injury claim is resolved successfully. The PI plaintiff is the legal client who files a claim through their lawyer to seek a settlement for their injuries.

In Maryland, where the federal and state laws can be complex, it’s important to have a personal injury attorney by your side throughout the legal process. Accident victims require legal services to experience successful outcomes.

According to personal injury law firms, most personal injury cases settle out of court. However, a personal injury lawyer may have to move to arbitration or a trial in some instances.

What are the 3 Types of Damages?

3 Types of Damages

Personal Injury attorneys know the specific rules attributed to a personal injury claim and the awarding of damages for the 3 main types of compensation – medical expenses, pain and suffering (emotional distress) and lost wages. Therefore, a personal injury attorney can be your best ally legally and financially.

So, let’s review further what personal injury attorneys do and how they can help you along with their legal team. Their legal representation can be invaluable, whether you’re filing an insurance claim for personal injuries suffered or need to file a lawsuit.

The Definition of a Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury attorney provides legal representation as an accident lawyer – working to recover compensation for anyone injured as the result of negligence.

The Responsibilities of a PI Lawyer

Financial compensation is requested from an at fault party’s insurance company in personal injury practice areas such as truck accidents, construction accidents, premises liability claims, fall accidents, and car accident claims. In most states automobile insurance coverage or liability coverage is mandatory to pay the injury victims for the harm done by the negligence of at fault parties.

An experienced personal injury lawyer follows tort law – negligence law – procedures to obtain compensation for medical bills covering medical treatment during and after a crash.

They gather evidence for injury victims in personal injury accidents and file personal injury lawsuits if the insurance company refuses to pay a fair and equitable settlement.

Why Injury Victims Depend on Legal Representation

Injury victims count on personal injury attorneys to negotiate with the insurance company for an equitable settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney may also have to recover financial compensation, along with their legal team, from the at fault party by going to trial.

Not only can a personal injury lawyer obtain money for a client’s injury, they can also request other damages that cover mental health, lost wages, and a loss of companionship.

Personal Injury attorneys work at gaining compensation for all types of personal injury claims. They work at gathering evidence – collecting the accident report and medical reports, all bills while they interview witnesses and request evidence.

From this information, they might find that the at fault party was responsible for negligence and would be responsible for the victim’s medical bills and other losses.

Personal Injury Lawyer Cost

A personal injury lawyer will work diligently to ensure your medical bills are covered as well as other costs related to your accident. Again, this can include dealing with lost wages, future earning capacity, pain, and suffering.

Whether they negotiate a settlement, go through arbitration, or file a case in court, they’ll remain as your ongoing legal advocate.

A personal injury lawyer typically does not charge a legal fee unless they win a trial case or settle with an insurance company. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you can contact a personal injury law firm for a free consultation as well.

What Types of Cases Does a Personal Injury Attorney Handle?

Lawyers who oversee personal injury cases handle many types of claims. Let’s look at some examples:

  1. Car Accidents: Attorneys help people injured in car crashes receive compensation in Maryland if the other party was totally at fault.
  2. Trucking Accidents:  Accidents in Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia, or other places in the United States of this type involve larger vehicles and often more serious injuries.
  3. Dog Bites:   Lawyers assist victims of dog attacks to seek justice and compensation for their medical expenses, pain, suffering, and permanent damages.
  4. Medical Malpractice: This form of negligence covers injuries due to the mistakes of medical professionals.
  5. Dental Malpractice: Similar to medical malpractice, these cases involve errors in dental treatments.
  6. Slip and Fall/Trip and Fall: These cases involve injuries from falls due to unsafe conditions.
  7. Wrongful Death: When someone dies due to negligence, lawyers help the family seek compensation for costs such as funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and grief counseling.
  8. Product Liability: This particular type of case pertains to injuries resulting from the use of defective or unsafe products.
  9. Negligent security: claims involving injuries or wrongful death as a result of failure to make the property safe for customers.

What Are the Main Tasks of Personal Injury Lawyers?

Let’s look more closely at a personal injury attorney’s responsibilities:

  1. Case Evaluation and Initial Consultation: An attorney starts by listening to your story. They review the details of your accident and injury to see if you have a case.
  2. Investigation and Evidence Gathering: After taking your case, an attorney collects evidence like accident reports, medical records, and witness statements.
  3. Legal Advice and Strategy Development:  Based on the evidence, an attorney crafts a strategy. This might mean negotiating a settlement or preparing for a trial. They tailor their approach to what’s best for you.
  4. Representation in Court vs. Settlement Negotiations: Some cases settle out of court, as long as the attorney believes you’re getting a fair settlement. Otherwise, they may take your case to court.

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Benefit of Hiring a Personal injury Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is highly advantageous. Let’s look at some of the benefits:

  • A Strong Knowledge in Legal Procedures and Negotiation: Personal injury lawyers know the law inside out. They know how to follow court procedures and negotiate with insurance companies.
  • Higher Compensation and Success Rates: Statistics show that people with lawyers often get higher compensation. Lawyers know how to build strong cases, which leads to better outcomes for their clients.
  • Stress Reduction and Time-Saving: Dealing with insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is time-consuming and stressful. A lawyer will handle the legal work while you focus on healing.
  • Access to Professional Resources and Networks: Lawyers have access to a network of experts and resources. These resources can include medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts.

Understanding the Legal Process When Filing a PI Lawsuit

Navigating a personal injury case involves several key steps. Knowing these steps can help you understand what to expect.

  1. Filing a Lawsuit: The first step is filing a lawsuit. In Maryland, you usually have three years from the injury date to do this. It’s critical not to miss this deadline, known as the statute of limitations.
  2. The Discovery Phase: After filing a lawsuit, the discovery phase starts. This is where both sides gather evidence. They exchange information through documents, questions, and depositions. This phase is vital as it lays out the case’s foundation.
  3. Mediation and Settlement: Before trial, there’s often a chance to settle. Mediation involves a neutral third party helping both sides agree. Many cases settle here, avoiding the need for a trial.
  4. Trial Process: If the case goes to trial, each side presents evidence and arguments. In Maryland, this might involve a jury or a judge. Trials can be complex and may last days or even weeks.
  5. What to Expect at Trial: During the trial, expect opening statements, witness testimonies, and closing arguments. Your lawyer will fight for your rights, aiming to show how the defendant caused your injuries and how these injuries affected you.

How to Choose the Right Law Firm and Attorney For You

Here’s what to think about when choosing from among many personal injury lawyers and law firms:

  1. Experience and Specialization: Look for a lawyer with experience in personal injury cases, especially in Maryland. Specialization matters because personal injury law has many nuances.
  2. Success Rate: Ask about the lawyer’s track record. A good history of successful cases shows that they are adept at handling this type of case.
  3. Communication Style: Choose someone who speaks clearly and keeps you informed. Good communication is key to a strong lawyer-client relationship.

What to Ask During the Initial Consultation

During your initial consultation, don’t be shy to ask questions:

  • Experience: How many cases like mine have you handled?
  • Approach: How would you manage my case?
  • Availability: Will you personally handle my case or will others be involved?

Learning More about the Fee Structures and Costs

Personal Injury Lawyer Fees

Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they only get paid if you win your case. Make sure you understand:

  • Percentage of the Settlement: Know what portion of the settlement the attorney will take as their fee.
  • Other Costs: Ask about other costs like court fees or expenses for expert witnesses, filing or copying.

 

Make Sure You and Your Personal Injury Lawyer Are on the Same Page

A good personal injury lawyer will fully outline what you can expect if your pursue an accident claim. If you don’t get a clear picture of what’s involved in filing a claim, seek advice elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a Lawyer Help if I’m Partly at Fault?

Maryland is an at-fault state with respect to car accident claims. Also, plaintiffs who seek compensation for injuries in personal injury accidents can’t be contributorily negligent. Therefore, even if you are minimally at fault, you can’t usually file a claim to get compensation. A lawyer must show that the other party was fully at fault for your claim to succeed.

2. What if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

Personal Injury lawyers handle cases, in most instances, on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if you win your case. This makes their services accessible, even if you’re worried about any upfront costs initially.

3. How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take to Settle?

The time varies. Some cases settle quickly, within a few months. Others, especially complex ones, can take years to resolve.

Maryland follows a doctrine of strict liability.

4. What’s Unique About Personal Injury Cases in Maryland?

Maryland follows a doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that an injury lawyer must show that the defendant is totally at fault for your injuries. If the claimant is at least partially at fault or contributed to the accident, the claimant cannot legally recover any compensation.

5. Can I Handle My Legal Case Alone?

While you can file your own case, it’s not advised. An injury lawyer has the know-how to navigate the legal system and improve your chances of a favorable outcome.

6. What Should I Bring to My First Meeting with a Lawyer?

Bring any documents related to your injury to your first legal consultation. This includes medical records, police reports, photographs of the injury, and any correspondence with insurance companies that show your accident results from someone else’s negligence.

7. How Do I Know if I Have a Strong Case as an Injured Party?

A lawyer can assess the strength of your case in your initial consultation. They’ll consider the details of your accident, the evidence, and Maryland law.

8. What If the Responsible Party Doesn’t Have Insurance?

An injury lawyer can explore other avenues for compensation, such as filing a lawsuit directly against an individual, seeking out other liable parties, or make a claim against claimant’s own insurance company under uninsured motorist coverage of the policy.

Contact the Law Offices of Alex Poberesky to Schedule a Consultation Now

Don’t let any uncertainty about the legal process prevent you from getting the help you need. If you’ve been injured in an accident and wish to pursue compensation, consider reaching out to the Law Offices of Alex Poberesky, P.A., to schedule a free consultation today. The Law Offices of Alex Poberesky, P.A., have a proven track record of highly experienced personal injury lawyers with many decades of handling difficult injury cases with successful results.