The Job Description of a Personal Injury Lawyer
A civil litigator who provides legal representation to an individual who has suffered from an alleged physical or psychological injury as a result of a negligence or careless act of another person, entity or company is called a personal injury lawyer or trial lawyer or plaintiff lawyer. It is not just being a legal representative for the injured individual, but the personal injury lawyer helps get compensation for the losses, as a result of the injury, such as loss of earnings due to the inability to work; physical and psychological pain and suffering; medical expenses as treatment for the injury, current and future; emotional distress; loss of companionship, in case a friend or loved one died during the cause of injury; legal costs including attorney’s fees. A personal injury lawyer also works to safeguard his client from being victimized by insurance companies and the legal system which can be maneuvered in favor of the defense party through skillful tactics by the defense attorney.
Normally, a personal injury lawyer follows these procedural tasks: screening and interviewing the client and assessing the merits of his case; investigating the client’s claim and gathering evidences to prove the claim; formulating legal theories; researching case laws; drafting pleadings, motions and discovery; interviewing and disposing witnesses; preparing for trial; advocating at trial; and counselling the client. The task process is painstakingly demanding and complex, such that most of the time an experienced lawyer often has to juggle large case loads and tight deadlines and to make up for these troubles, as a consolation for the lawyer, is to get the justice deserving to the injured client and his/her family.
Apart from an injury case, other common cases are also being handled by a personal injury lawyer, such as the following: animal bite injuries, auto accidents, aviation accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, brain injuries, burn injuries, construction accidents, slip and fall accidents, spinal cord injuries, defective products, insurance conducted in bad faith, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, wrongful death.
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The initial qualification path to be a personal injury lawyer is to earn a law degree and pass the written bar examination, then go to a specialize training in tort law and pass a certification examination with respect to it from both the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification and the American Bar Association. Aside from these qualification requirements, he must also develop and possess great skills in the following: oral advocacy, negotiation, client development, and analytical thinking and in-depth knowledge in the field of personal injury law.
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The uncertainty of the economy, stricter regulation, and company growth are main reasons why litigation is on the rise and this indication can help provide a positive employment outlook for lawyers who desire to specialize in personal injury cases; otherwise, if the tort law is reformed to execute changes in the civil justice system, this, in effect, will reduce tort litigation, which can be deterrent to those who plan to be a personal injury lawyer.