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6 min read

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do: A Full Guide

Personal Injury Lawyers main goal is to fight to secure compensation for those who have suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence. 

This involves evaluating claims, establishing fault, negotiating settlements, and, if necessary, litigating in court. Our guide provides a closer look at how these legal advocates assess the merits of a case, calculate damages, and navigate the legal system on behalf of their clients, ensuring victims are not alone in their journey to justice.


Key Takeaways

  • Personal injury lawyers play a critical role by evaluating the merit of injury cases, establishing liability, calculating damages, and navigating the legal system to secure fair compensation for their clients.
  • The breadth of personal injury law encompasses a variety of cases including auto accidents, medical malpractice, workplace injuries, and more, with personal injury lawyers helping victims to recover damages and navigate the claims process.
  • Personal injury representation significantly impacts clients’ lives by ensuring adequate compensation and satisfaction through appealing denied claims and other legal actions, supported by strategies such as claim investigation, negotiation, trial preparation, and alternative dispute resolution.


The Role of Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury lawyers leverage their legal expertise and objectivity to fight for justice on behalf of injury victims. They:

  • Assess the merits of the case
  • Establish negligence
  • Recover damages
  • Navigate the legal system to secure fair compensation for their clients.

This strategic assessment of potential cases, combined with a focus on protecting the client’s interests, leads to just compensation and improved client satisfaction.


Identifying Negligence and Establishing Liability

These attorneys establish liability in personal injury cases by proving four key elements:

  1. Duty of care
  2. Breach of duty
  3. Causation
  4. Damages

With their deep understanding of statutes, case law, and legal precedents, they analyze medical reports to establish causation and the extent of harm.

They also assist accident victims by clarifying their rights, applicable laws, potential compensation, and identifying the entities responsible for the damages incurred.


Calculating and Recovering Damages

The process of calculating and recovering damages is complex and involves an evaluation of the following factors:

  • Severity of injuries
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Impact on the victim’s quality of life

Personal injury lawyers apply a formula that multiplies special damages by a factor reflecting pain and suffering to calculate compensatory damages. They document all medical treatments, lost wages, and even lesser-known damages like loss of regular use of body functions to ensure their clients receive fair compensation.


The Legal System

Personal injury lawyers provide invaluable guidance to clients through the legal system, ensuring timely case filings and compliance with deadlines. They handle a variety of tasks, including:

  • Managing complex legal terminology and intricacies of laws and regulations
  • Preparing complaints
  • Managing the discovery process
  • Providing comprehensive documentation support

They stay abreast of legal changes and adapt their strategies accordingly to accommodate new legislative impacts on personal injury cases, thereby ensuring the best possible outcomes for their clients.

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Personal Injury Law Practice Areas

Personal injury law covers a wide range of case types, including personal injuries from:

  • Car accidents
  • Slip-and-fall incidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents

Many personal injury lawyers, including an experienced personal injury lawyer, handle these cases and advocate for justice for the injured parties, which is how personal injury law firms and personal injury attorneys work on a personal injury lawsuit.

Auto Accidents and Roadway Incidents

Personal injury lawyers are instrumental in the realm of auto accidents and roadway incidents. They:

  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • File the necessary claims paperwork
  • Prepare a claim to present to the insurer, including a settlement demand with documentation of medical bills, reports, and lost income
  • Ensure fair restitution for their clients

Medical Malpractice and Healthcare-Related Cases

For medical malpractice and healthcare-related cases, personal injury lawyers help patients who have been injured due to negligent medical care to process their claims for compensation. They tackle cases involving:

  • Errors in surgery
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Anesthesia
  • Incorrect prescriptions

Personal injury lawyers navigate complex medical and legal issues to secure justice for the affected patients.

Workplace Injuries and Workers' Compensation

Workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims are another crucial area of personal injury law. Personal injury attorneys represent clients in these cases, helping them navigate the no-fault workers’ compensation system and secure benefits including weekly compensation, medical bill payments, and benefits for permanent impairment, all while pursuing a personal injury claim.


The Investigative Process in Personal Injury Claims

Investigation is a cornerstone of personal injury claims. Personal injury lawyers build a robust case by:

  • Conducting comprehensive investigations
  • Gathering and analyzing evidence
  • Consulting with experts
  • Evaluating the future implications

Gathering and Analyzing Evidence

Lawyers gather various forms of evidence such as:

  • police or accident reports
  • medical records
  • witness statements
  • visual evidence

To support their clients’ claims, injuries and medical treatment are documented meticulously to establish a strong foundation for the claim, and evidence is analyzed to assess the long-term impact of the injuries.

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Consulting with Experts

Consulting with expert witnesses plays a pivotal role in personal injury cases. These experts provide specialized knowledge that helps establish liability and damages. Medical experts confirm diagnoses, project future impairments, and provide narrative reports, while financial experts estimate lost earning capacity and project future costs and losses.


Evaluating Future Implications

Personal injury claims require a comprehensive evaluation of the future implications of injuries. Lawyers consider the following factors while calculating future damages:

  • The cost of future surgeries or medical interventions
  • Anticipated costs of ongoing medical care
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Possible permanent disability
  • Emotional and psychological effects of the injuries

Taking all these factors into account ensures a fair calculation of future damages in personal injury claims.


The Financial Aspects of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers typically operate on a contingency fee basis, charging a percentage of the compensation awarded. This arrangement eliminates the need for clients to pay upfront legal fees. This arrangement aligns the lawyer’s incentive to win the case directly with the client’s financial compensation.


Understanding Contingency Fees

Contingency fees protect clients from financial risk, as they only pay the attorney if compensation is recovered in their case. Fees are typically between 30% to 40% of the client’s recovery, with possible increases if the case proceeds to a trial.


Estimating Attorney Fees and Case Expenses

It’s important for anyone hiring a personal injury attorney to understand the estimated attorney fees and case expenses. Legitimate personal injury lawyers are transparent and straightforward about their fees, providing clients with clear information about the costs of their services. Court costs, including filing fees and other expenses, are also part of the total cost.


Strategies Personal Injury Lawyers Use to Maximize Client Recovery

Personal injury lawyers utilize a variety of strategies to maximize the recovery for their clients. These range from negotiating with insurance companies and preparing for trial to utilizing alternative dispute resolution methods.


Negotiating with Insurance Companies

One key strategy used by personal injury lawyers is negotiating with the insurance company. They utilize their negotiation skills and understanding of the claim’s value to achieve fair compensation, refusing lowball offers, and persuasively arguing for maximum recovery.


Preparing for Trial

Preparing for trial involves organizing evidence, managing legal paperwork, and presenting persuasive arguments in court. Personal injury lawyers practice courtroom techniques, utilize objections to improper evidence or legal procedures, and practice with their clients for effective testimony.


Utilizing Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, can offer several benefits, including:

  • Expedited settlement process
  • Maintenance of goodwill between parties
  • Privacy through confidential proceedings
  • Controlled environment for resolution
  • Faster and more cost-effective resolution compared to traditional litigation.


The Impact of Personal Injury Representation on Clients' Lives

Effective legal representation in personal injury cases can secure adequate compensation, leading to financial recovery for injury victims. Personal injury lawyers play a vital role in appealing denied claims and improving client satisfaction, demonstrating the profound impact they can have on clients’ lives.

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Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Needs

When selecting the right personal injury lawyer, one should consider their experience, past case results, and communication skills. Resources such as the Super Lawyers directory can aid in finding an experienced attorney, and looking at the similarity of past cases handled by the attorney and their results can provide insight into their competency.



In conclusion, personal injury lawyers play a pivotal role in ensuring justice for injury victims. They navigate complex legal procedures, establish negligence, recover damages, and utilize various strategies to maximize client recovery. They operate on a contingency fee basis, reducing the financial burden on clients. The choice of the right personal injury lawyer can make a significant difference in securing adequate compensation and enhancing client satisfaction.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is another name for a personal injury lawyer?

Another name for a personal injury lawyer is "accident lawyer," as they primarily handle cases arising from accidents.


What is the meaning of personal injury?

Personal injury refers to physical injuries, mental injuries, or property damage caused by another party's negligence, which may lead to filing a lawsuit for compensation. It encompasses a wide range of injuries to a person's body, emotions, or reputation.


How do I claim an injury?

To claim an injury, first obtain medical care and prepare documentation of the incident and your injuries. Then, consider seeking a legal consultation for further guidance.


What do personal injury lawyers do?

Personal injury lawyers work to help clients prove negligence, recover damages, and secure fair compensation through the legal system.


How do personal injury lawyers calculate damages?

Personal injury lawyers calculate damages by assessing the severity of injuries, medical costs, lost wages, and the overall impact on quality of life. This helps in determining the compensation amount for the affected individual.

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Meet the Author

Paul Brazil - Founding Partner

Paul Brazil is a native of Dunmore, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Dunmore High School. For his undergraduate education, he attended Bloomsburg University where he majored in political science. He then went on to earn his JD from Widener University School of Law. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Brazil worked at a large Philadelphia civil defense firm where he litigated workers’ compensation claims and Heart and Lung Act cases.

Learn more about Paul Brazil