Personal injury lawyers assist clients who claim physical or psychological injury due to another’s negligence or carelessness.
Personal Injury Is Tort Law
Personal injury attorneys practice tort law. This includes slander and claims for bad faith breach of contract. Tort law aims to make the injured whole and deter others from committing the same violation.
Personal injury lawyers help clients compensate for their losses, including an inability to work, pain and suffering, reasonable medical expenditures, mental anguish, loss of consortium or companionship, and legal costs and attorney fees. They also protect clients from insurance companies and the legal system.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
Any action or claim involving a body or mind injury falls under personal injury law. This lawyer handles matters like:
- Animal bite injuries
- Auto accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Brain injuries
- Burn injuries
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
- Insurance/bad faith claims
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
- What a Personal Injury Attorney Does
Attorneys manage cases from origin through appeal. They’re like litigators. They look into claims and check potential clients to assess their situations. They gather evidence, establish legal ideas, and research case law. The job involves drafting pleadings, motions, discovery requests, and interviewing and deposing witnesses.
These tasks help prepare for trials, but the job isn’t done. Personal injury lawyers represent their clients in court. This includes advising and overcoming legal and adversarial difficulties.
Personal injury attorneys have big caseloads, tight deadlines, and demanding clients. Many personal injury lawyers find it most fulfilling to aid injured victims and their families.
Personal injury lawsuits can be difficult. Therefore these attorneys specialize. For example, a medical malpractice lawyer may specialize in breech births. Auto accident lawyers may specialize in ATV accidents.
All attorneys must have the same training and education. They must get law degrees and pass bar exams, but they can’t do so unless they have a law degree and a high LSAT score.
Lawyers can become civil trial advocates by completing a National Board of Legal Specialty Certification-accredited school (NBLSC). This is an ABA-accredited nonprofit that certifies attorneys.
Personal injury lawyers must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). MPRE tests professional conduct. State education may compel you to take us.
Personal and Professional Skills
Personal injury attorneys excel at oral representation, negotiation, and client development. They should be able to handle stress and strain, especially if they practice alone rather than join a firm.
Contingency fee attorneys in this field represent clients on a 30-40% contingency basis. The plaintiff pays nothing until the lawyer recovers money for them. These lawyers are paid if they win.
Some personal injury cases might take years to conclude. This makes effective time management skills essential. Personal injury attorneys must balance long, involved claims with shorter, less stressful ones if they go into solo practice.
New personal injury lawyers should work for an established business before going solo, even an insurance defense practice. This helps them comprehend their opponents’ strategies.
Personal Injury Lawyer Salaries
Personal injury lawyers are among the highest-paid. The most successful lawyers earn seven-figure salaries, but most plaintiff lawyers make $30,000 to $300,000, depending on practice size and region.
High-fee plaintiff lawyers handle class action claims or high-dollar personal injury cases. Punitive damages—those meant to penalize the offender and deter future bad behavior—can elevate verdict amounts by millions of dollars, lining lawyers’ pockets.
If they join an established practice, these attorneys may start with small pay, but they should receive a percentage of the firm’s revenue for winning cases.
Personal injury attorneys have a bright job outlook because litigation is many law firms’ mainstay. It is possible that tort reform—proposed improvements in common law civil court systems—will lower the number of claims filed and damages recovered by plaintiff attorneys.