Often, members of the general public imagine lawyers to be aggressive professionals in dark suits who find loopholes to benefit the interests of large companies and corporations. But with one type of lawyer, the personal injury lawyer, there is a distinct difference: personal injury law is about fighting for the so-called ‘little guy.’
Each year, thousands of consumers, motorists, medical patients, and nursing home residents are injured due to the neglect or malpractice of a professional, corporation, or other individual. When this happens, the corporation (or their insurance company) is likely to employ expensive litigators to intimidate the injured person and convince them that they are entitled to minimal compensation or no compensation at all.
However, there is a good chance that this is untrue, and in such a situation, victims may benefit considerably from the service of an attorney of equal or higher caliber than those employed by the other party. A personal injury lawyer, as the name implies, is an attorney who works with those who have been personally injured. A large percentage of personal injuries are physical, but this type of attorney can also assist with emotional harm, financial damage, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.
Here are the basic steps of how a personal injury case unfolds:
- One person or party behaves in a reckless, negligent, or intentionally harmful manner. Examples include an extreme medical mistake, letting a dog run loose, running a red light, and failing to mark a mopped floor.
- Another person is injured as a direct result of the initial negligence. This would mean someone who dies in surgery, a child attacked by a loose dog, a bicyclist struck by an errant driver, or a person who falls on a wet floor.
- At this stage, the personal injury lawyer must help the client firstly make sure to act appropriately. This involves reporting all medical conditions, following doctors’ orders, and not speaking with the other party’s insurance company.
- While preparing the lawsuit, a personal injury lawyer then uses paralegals, investigators, and any appropriate outside resources to investigate the factors that led up to the accident. Thorough attention to detail is very important in terms of assembling a solid and effective case for a victim’s rights.
- In many cases, the dispute may settle out of court, meaning the victim and the responsible party agree on an amount of compensation to be paid. If it does not settle, the case will head to court where it may be heard before a jury. The jury may hold that party accountable for a variety of damages as relative to the degree of their negligence in the situation.
These are the basic steps of nearly any personal injury case. It is also quite common for a Chicago personal injury lawyer to work on a contingency fee basis. This means the injured person need not pay any money in order to enlist the services of that particular attorney and law firm. Any fees will be taken out of the money won in the lawsuit, and if no money is won, there is no fee.