A personal injury attorney is a lawyer who offers legal services to individuals who contend to have been individually injured, either physically or mentally, due to the negligence of another human being, organization, business or government agency. Most personal injury attorneys primarily practice in the field of tort law, which is the body of law that permits the injured party to be compensated for an action or event that causes physical or mental pain and suffering. In most states, personal injury attorneys are required to pass the bar exam in order to practice. They can also be licensed through the state bar of the applicable jurisdiction. Most personal injury attorneys have a background in a similar field of law such as criminal law, but many specialize in personal injury law. They also have at least three years of experience in a legal field, including trial experience and the ability to make assessments and interpretations of legal documents and litigation strategies.
Attorneys who specialize in personal injury attorneys are called “ambulance chasers” because they are usually quick to move from one matter to another, regardless of the importance of that case. They may appear in courts, negotiate settlements, draft legal documents and work on plea bargains. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, receiving only after they win a court case. Some lawyers charge hourly fees, but most work on a retainer basis, paying only if they win a case. These lawyers can also bill hourly rates to medical experts who testify in their favor, or to other clients who seek their help with legal matters. Many personal injury attorneys start their own practices.
In some cases, personal injury attorneys take their cases to trial. This occurs when a party has suffered physical injuries, but believes that the other person is responsible for those injuries, and that the other person has contributed to the injuries by either doing something intentional, or negligent. In this instance, the case would be heard in a court room, and a jury might decide the fate of the defendant. Many times, a settlement is reached outside of a court of law.
A personal injury attorney will pursue a case in what’s called an “innocent spouse” realm. In other words, he will not pursue cases where the party being sued is guilty of any wrongdoing. Many personal injury law firms have special units that focus on personal injury law, so that the lawyers can handle these complex legal issues. An example of a legal issue that often occurs in this realm is when one spouse sues the other spouse, with the result that both parties are granted joint legal custody of a child.
In many instances, people simply don’t have enough money to hire personal injury attorneys. For this reason, they often turn to free legal counsel. Legally speaking, there are two different types of free legal counsel: non-profit lawyers and for-profit lawyers. Non-profit lawyers work on a pro Bono basis; however, they often work to a lower pay scale than for-profit lawyers. Because people often don’t need legal counsel for common personal injury issues, for-profit lawyers often work on a contingency basis, which means that they receive a percentage of any monetary award.
If you have been injured badly in an accident caused by another driver, truck or bus driver, you may want to consult a personal injury attorney to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering and for your medical bills. If you have been the victim in an automobile accident, you may have a legal claim for compensation. You should talk to an attorney as soon as possible after the accident and make sure that he or she knows exactly how your situation should be resolved, including any possible insurance company claims.