Personal Injury Law: Battling For The Victims

Personal injury lawyers sometimes get a bad rap as money grabbing opportunists, but in reality, they are advocates for those who have been hurt in automobile or workplace accidents.  Most people have very little understanding of the legal system, so when they are harmed by the carelessness of others or by someone's disregarding the law, they need an experienced attorney to determine how to proceed.

Making a Case

A lawyer determines if a case has merit by examining whether the victim was injured in an accident as the result of someone's negligence.  Perhaps a vehicle driver ran a stop sign and plowed into the side of a car, injuring the other driver. If the lawyer feels that enough evidence exists to prove negligence and that damages are recoverable, she will most likely take the case.  


In approximately 95% of cases, a settlement is reached before a case goes to court.  Insurance companies are highly motivated to settle because they usually lose when they are defendants in a trial. A civil matter such as a personal injury lawsuit has a lower threshold of proof than a criminal case does.  For personal injury cases, only a preponderance of the evidence is required for a judgment to be rendered against a defendant. In short, if the evidence weighs toward the plaintiff's side, the plaintiff wins.  

Settlement Amount

A good personal injury lawyer determines what the settlement amount should be by considering several factors. They include:

  • Loss of income

  • Cost of medical treatment

  • Age of victim

  • Impact on future earnings

  • Loss of abilities

  • Pain and Suffering

Most of these criteria are straight-forward, but pain and suffering is a little more complicated.  This category includes the mental anguish suffered by those who have been hurt.  Patients who have undergone surgeries, rehabilitation, and other treatments often experience emotional difficulties.  Fear, anxiety, and depression may become part of their lives. These conditions are considered pain and suffering in a lawsuit and may be compensated by a jury if a case goes to trial.

Contingency Fees

Personal injury lawyers always work hard for their clients because they are paid on a contingency basis.  They only receive their fees if they win the case. These fees are often up to forty percent of the amount won, but this arrangement keeps the injured from losing any more money.

Personal injury lawyers lead victims of negligence through a complicated legal process, enabling them to pay their medical bills and other expenses that accumulated due to their injuries.  They also may receive compensation for loss of future earnings and for all the pain and suffering involved with the accident.  The injured need help, and personal injury lawyers are their best advocates.