Is It Worth Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney?

Updated: Jun 22



In the aftermath of an accident or injury, you might wonder if it’s worth hiring a personal injury attorney. In some cases, the answer is no.


If you were to slip and fall in a grocery store and suffer minor bruises or scrapes, or if you were to get rear-ended in a minor fender-bender, you probably wouldn't need a personal injury attorney. Accidents such as these happen a lot, and most people can handle them without legal assistance.


However, slipping and falling onto a concrete floor can leave you with a concussion or broken bone. And even a minor rear-end accident can result in a painful neck injury that doesn’t show up until days later.


Such injuries can necessitate medical treatments that cost many thousands of dollars over time. And if such an injury results in chronic pain or limited range of motion, it can damage your capacity to earn a living, along with your general quality of life.


So if you've suffered an injury that’s more than minor because of an accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.


As your advocate, a personal injury attorney will describe what to expect and how to react to things as they unfold; give you advice about what you should and shouldn't do within the next 24 hours, week, month, and beyond; as well as explain your rights and responsibilities.


In this blog entry, we’ve assembled a list of FAQs that address how and why it’s worth hiring a personal injury attorney. Among them:

  1. What kind of lawyer is a personal injury attorney?

  2. What does personal-injury tort law involve?

  3. What kinds of cases do personal injury attorneys handle?

  4. What qualifications does a personal injury lawyer have?

  5. Is there a difference between a “trial lawyer” and a personal injury lawyer?

  6. Is there a difference between a “civil attorney” and a personal injury attorney?

  7. What is a normal personal injury case?

  8. What are insurance adjusters?

  9. What does “ambiguous liability” mean?

  10. What does “settling a case” mean?

  11. What happens when you file a personal injury lawsuit?

  12. How long can I wait to file a personal injury lawsuit?

  13. Where and how can I get the quickest settlement for my personal injury claim?

  14. What does “quality of life” refer to in personal injury cases?

  15. What’s the cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?


1. What kind of lawyer is a personal injury attorney?

Personal injury (PI) attorneys are lawyers who focus on providing advice and legal representation to people who've been physically injured due to the negligence of someone else—or by a corporate, governmental, or other entity. This field of legal practice is known as tort law.


Some PI attorneys further concentrate their practice to a specific area of tort law. Medical malpractice or workplace injury are two examples. Such a refined focus allows a PI attorney to have specific skills that can be brought to bear upon your particular kind of case.





2. What does personal-injury tort law involve?


Personal-injury tort law aims to protect a person when he or she is injured physically and emotionally because of what some party did or failed to do. In a successful tort claim, the injured person is sufficiently compensated by the at-fault party (see source).


Two basic issues make up every tort claim. First is liability: is the defendant negligent for the damages sustained by the injured person? The second is damages: what is the extent and nature of the harm done to the injured person?


3. What kinds of cases do personal injury attorneys handle?


You should consult a PI attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one is injured due to:

  • traffic collision

  • slip-and-fall mishap

  • defective product

  • workplace accident

  • professional malpractice


4. What qualifications does a personal injury lawyer have?


PI attorneys begin by earning a college degree, as do all lawyers. Political science, social science, history, and English are the most common majors. Upon earning their baccalaureate, they pursue a general law degree (JD) and must pass their state’s bar exam after graduation.


Another milestone is the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). This test is required in many states and is designed to measure a lawyer's understanding of professional conduct regarding things like contempt, censure, or criminal wrongdoings. Many PI lawyers additionally add to their professional knowledge with a master’s degree specific to personal injury law (LLM).


In addition to such expansive knowledge of procedural law, a PI attorney must demonstrate an exceptional ability to synthesize complex facts and evidence, as well as exceptional interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills.


5. Is there a difference between a “trial lawyer” and a personal injury lawyer?


There are various sorts of “trial lawyers” and PI attorneys are one kind. So sometimes people refer to PI attorneys as trial lawyers. Think of it this way: all PI attorneys are trial lawyers, but not all trial lawyers are PI attorneys. PI attorneys are best qualified to represent your interests at a personal injury trial. And although most personal injury claims are settled out of court, a PI attorney is most suited for guiding you through the settlement process and obtaining fair and adequate compensation for the injuries and damages you've suffered.


6. Is there a difference between a “civil attorney” and a personal injury attorney?


Just as all PI attorneys are trial lawyers, each of them is also a civil attorney. A civil attorney is a lawyer who handles non-criminal legal disputes, which characteristically involve one party seeking payment from another for some kind of injury. Besides personal injury law, some examples of civil specialties are family law, corporate law, employment law, and property law.


7. What is a normal personal injury case?


The majority of personal injury actions concern car accidents, so these cases offer a good example of how the tort system works (see source).


If you reside in a “fault” state, you can file a negligence claim if you’re injured by a driver who didn't exercise reasonable care. The underlying logic is that a person has a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving. If he or she doesn't and consequently hurts you, personal-injury tort law states that you can recoup your losses. (The situation is very much different in states that have adopted so-called “no-fault” laws.)


Car accidents, of course, are only one sort of tort case. Others include assault, battery, negligence, product liability, trespass, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. There's also defamation, invasion of privacy, nuisance, and more (see source).



8. What are insurance adjusters?


Insurance adjusters investigate your claim to determine the degree of the insurance company's liability. It’s important to remember that they work for the insurance company, not for you. One may interview you along with any witnesses, consult the police, peruse hospital records, as well as examine any property damage that might have occurred (See source).


You must remember that no matter how warm, friendly, and sympathetic an insurance adjuster might overtly seem, he or she will do whatever it takes within the law to pay you as little as possible for the injuries you’ve incurred.


An insurance adjuster will undoubtedly have an enormous advantage over you if you try to negotiate without legal counsel. Insurance adjusters know the law, and they know that you don't.


Also bear in mind that insurance adjusters are skilled at persuading accident victims that a lowball offer is a generous one, which is something you might want to believe while enduring the pain, suffering, and upheaval that are the consequences of your accident. In sum You just “want it to be all over.” So you give in.


you need a PI attorney who’s keenly knowledgeable about the applicable law and who is experienced in dealing with insurance adjusters. That way, you'll realize fair and just compensation for your pain, medical bills, and/or property damage — all of which can cost you a great deal of money, limit your ability to earn a living and diminish your quality of life.


9. What does “ambiguous liability” mean?


Ambiguous liability occurs when it's uncertain who’s to blame for an accident. In such a circumstance, along with your innocence, you’ll need to prove that someone else was at fault for your injuries. Each requires gathering evidence.


case in matters such as of a car wreck, you'll want accident photos, police records, the official accident report, any eyewitness testimony, and the applicable medical records—all of which must be presented in agreement with tort law.


In many accidents resulting in personal injury, the blame may be spread across multiple parties. Your PI attorney can identify who they are and help you secure fair and adequate compensation from each.


For example, in a car-truck accident, you might ask for compensation from both the truck driver and the company that employs him or her. Or in the case of medical malpractice, you might need to file a claim against both the physician and the clinic or hospital (see source).


10. What does “settling a case” mean?


Settling a case happens when you agree to accept a certain sum of money in return for dropping your action against the at-fault party. As part of settling a personal injury case, you'll be required to sign a release absolving the at-fault party of any further liability.


Your PI attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement offer rather than go to trial. Such advice will include a realistic assessment of the odds that a lawsuit based on your claim will prevail. Nonetheless, the decision of whether or not to accept a settlement offer is yours alone. Your PI attorney will only advise you.


Even once a lawsuit is filed, a settlement can nonetheless be agreed upon before or during the trial, and even afterward — if the jury has not yet reached a decision (see source).


11. What happens when you file a personal injury lawsuit?


If you opt to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of accepting a settlement offer, you become the plaintiff in a court case, and the party that injured you becomes the defendant. Minimally, two lawyers will be involved. The defendant’s, and your PI attorney.


The two lawyers will begin by gathering facts, which is called discovery. They'll exchange relevant documents among themselves. They'll also pose written questions to you, the defendant, and possibly to others. These are called “interrogatories.” They also might request “depositions.” These are questions that are asked in person and answered under oath.


After discovery, most cases are settled. Only a small percentage of personal injury actions actually go to trial (see source).


12. How long can I wait to file a personal injury lawsuit?


Time limits for filing a personal injury lawsuit can be as little as one year in some states. If you miss your state’s statutory deadline for filing, you will have no recourse within the court system.


13. Where and how can I get the quickest settlement for my personal injury claim?


Bad question! The quickest settlement is probably not the best one.


The speed and frequency with which a law firm goes to settlement aren't positively related to the adequacy or fairness of those settlements. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.


A settlement is an agreement negotiated by your attorney with the at-fault party instead of going to trial. Most cases are settled to avoid the time, cost, and stress of a trial. This is usually best for both you and the at-fault party.


14. What does “quality of life” refer to in personal injury cases?


Do you play the piano?


If your ability to do so has been harmed by your accident, your PI attorney will ask: How big a thing is a piano in your life? If you just play for your own enjoyment, that’s one thing. But if you do weekend gigs with a combo, then it’s more than that, even if you don’t make a cent doing it.


Do you do volunteer work?


Maybe you apply lifelong hobbies like woodworking or carpentry to help others through your church or service organization. How do your weakened physical endurance and reduced range of motion affect those hobbies for you? And how do your diminished capacities affect others in your church or service organization, not to mention the people they help?


Has your emotional state changed?


Can you still enjoy the things you were doing before the accident? Are some of those diminished things important to your ability to earn a living? Or to some aspect of your lifestyle? Do you experience flashbacks? Have you become hyper-vigilant or fearful? Has your emotional state changed subsequent to the accident in other ways that affect relationships with family and friends?


15. What’s the cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?


Galindo Law doesn't charge any upfront or out-of-pocket fees. Instead, we’re only paid a percentage of the settlement we secure for you. So, by working with Galindo Law, you incur zero financial risk—with nothing to lose and everything to gain.



Or, if you prefer, email us. And thank you for reading our blog!



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