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What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

A personal injury lawyer works to help accident victims recover damages for the injuries, losses, and expenses they have suffered as a result of someone else’s reckless or negligent actions. This is a field of law that encompasses many different types of claims, including car accidents, surgical errors, slip and falls, and more. A New York personal injury attorney can help injured victims of these kinds of incidents obtain fair financial compensation and hold accountable the parties responsible for their harm.

During the case investigation and discovery phases, your personal injury attorney will gather all available evidence to support your claim, which may include interviewing witnesses, visiting accident scenes, reviewing medical records, taking pictures of visible damage or skid marks at an auto crash site, and more. A lawyer can also assist with obtaining expert testimony to explain how your injury happened and establish causation.

In most cases, your personal injury attorney will negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that will cover all of your monetary losses. If the insurer is not offering a satisfactory amount, your lawyer will be ready to file a lawsuit and take the case to trial if necessary. In a jury trial, your lawyer will present your case to a panel of 12 people who will listen to the evidence and decide on a verdict. In a bench trial, your Personal injury lawyer will present your case to a single judge.

Most personal injury claims involve monetary compensation known as “damages.” These damages are based on how severe your injury was and the impact it has had on your life. Straightforward damages include your medical bills and lost income, while less clear-cut ones may include pain and suffering or projected loss of future income if your injury will leave you with permanent limitations. To calculate these values, your lawyer will need detailed medical records to prove your current condition as well as employment and tax documents to evaluate your potential income loss.

Some cases, such as those involving wrongful death, can have very high damage amounts. For example, a victim’s family may be entitled to funeral expenses, lost future income, and emotional distress. A personal injury lawyer with extensive experience handling wrongful death cases will be familiar with the high stakes and how to fight for maximum compensation.

Some injuries require ongoing treatment, which can be expensive. Your New York personal injury lawyer can assist with pursuing payment from your health insurance or through the defendant’s insurance company. In addition, your lawyer will discuss your fee arrangement with you, which may be a contingency or retainer fee.

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