Personal injury lawsuits are civil actions filed against private individuals, privately owned companies, or public offices for damages caused by negligence. When an individual suffers injuries and/or economic harm due to the careless, dangerous, or criminal actions of another party, the victim can pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent party to secure compensation for any damages resulting from the incident.
Personal injury lawyers have a specific set of legal duties when it comes to representing their clients. If you or a loved one plan to pursue any kind of personal injury claim in the near future, you should know your attorney’s legal obligations to ensure you receive appropriate representation in your case.
What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?
When an injured party hires a personal injury attorney to handle a case, the lawyer must fully investigate the claim and help the client understand his or her legal options for recovery. Succeeding with a personal injury case often requires extensive research and a firm understanding of federal and state legal statutes, local ordinances, and the local court system.
- A personal injury attorney has a legal obligation to protect a client’s case information under attorney-client privilege. Just as an attorney has no obligation to share protected client information with other parties under attorney-client privilege, an attorney may not willingly offer protected client information to other parties.
- Personal injury attorneys must determine the full extent of the client’s damages. This may require extensive research or input from qualified experts with professional backgrounds that relate to the case. For example, if a client suffered a permanent disability and is no longer able to work, a financial expert can testify to the reasonable amount of lost future earnings the plaintiff faces.
- Personal injury attorneys must prepare their clients for depositions, hearings, and trial. This may require carefully going over the elements of the case, helping a client answer questions honestly and concisely without jeopardizing the case and preparing for cross-examination of the witnesses in the case.
- A personal injury attorney may also represent a client who must deal with an insurance company for recovery after a personal injury. Insurance companies may attempt to convince claimants to accept lowball offers on legitimate claims to reduce their financial liability to these claimants, and hiring a Kansas City personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure an insurance company offers a fair and reasonable settlement on a claim. An attorney can handle correspondence and negotiations with insurance companies on a client’s behalf.
Ultimately, a personal injury attorney advocates on behalf of his or her client to ensure a recovery in the claim through all phases of the legal process. Some personal injury claims end with insurance claims that fully cover claimants’ damages. Others proceed to settlement negotiations, but if settlement negotiations fail, a case will proceed to trial.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
An injured person may think that he or she could save money by refraining from hiring an attorney and choosing self-representation instead. However, the reality is that most people have no formal legal training or experience. It is very easy for a claimant to unintentionally jeopardize his or her claim due to a missed court filing deadline or incomplete paperwork. Additionally, the average person likely does not know all the available avenues of compensation available in a personal injury claim.
Hiring an attorney not only usually leads to a higher overall chance of success with a personal injury claim but will also likely lead to much more compensation than the client could have secured without an attorney. Experienced personal injury attorneys also build up extensive networks of professional contacts who may offer expert witness testimony to support a claim, and a self-representing claimant would likely have no idea how to contact expert witnesses or which experts would have the most bearing in a case. Here are a list of tips to hiring an attorney provided by the Federal Trade Commission.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of another individual’s negligence, there are options for assistance. Our law firm provides experienced personal injury attorneys in Kansas City to help recoup your losses.
Our law firm offers free initial consultations and we can be contacted via (913) 428-8220 or our online contact form. We are very familiar with how a personal injury can negatively impact one’s life and Dickerson Oxton is here in these stressful times.