What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia?
Most of us have heard of personal injury lawyers. Unless you have been injured in an accident, however, you may not be exactly sure what an injury attorney does. If you are injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, how do you get compensated? The answer is, hire a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia.
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury deals with a part of the law known as torts. A tort is an act of harm or omission that causes harm to another. When someone gets injured as a result of the negligence of another, the person who was injured has the right to file a personal injury claim. For example, say one driver runs a stop sign and hits a car coming from the cross street; the person in the second car breaks a leg in the accident. The person with the broken leg can file a personal injury claim against the driver who ran the stop sign. If the claim has merit, the insurance company of the negligent driver might have to pay monetary compensation to cover medical bills and other expenses. Most people use an attorney to represent their interests in personal injury claims, and these attorneys are also called personal injury lawyers.
Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia?
In order to prove that a personal injury claim has merit, the injured party has to show that:
- There was a duty to take a precaution – in our example, the duty was to stop at the stop sign and check for traffic in all directions
- That duty was breached – the driver did not stop at the sign
- The breach of duty caused the accident – if the driver had stopped, there would not have been an accident
- The accident directly caused the injury – the accident caused the leg to break
While someone who is injured in an accident is entitled to file a personal injury claim on their own, it would not be simple for most people and would require research, time, and energy that you might not have. While you are recovering from your injuries, a personal injury attorney can file your claim on your behalf.
What Does a Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
The process of filing a claim involves a number of steps. First, your attorney will have you recall everything you remember about the accident. Memory is a tricky thing, and it might come back to you in bits and pieces. Your attorney will interview witnesses and collect documents from the police and other first-responders from the scene. Your medical records are protected by privacy laws, but your lawyer will remind you to request copies of all medical records both from the scene and from any treatment that followed.
Once all the supporting documentation is collected, the lawyer files the claim. Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. Your attorney will negotiate with the liable party or insurance company to get you an appropriate amount of compensation. A very tiny number of cases go to trial, and your attorney is ready to take the case to court if that seems like the right step.
Aren’t They Just Ambulance-Chasers?
There is a great deal of cynicism about lawyers in general and about personal injury lawyers specifically. The truth is, some of them have a bad reputation for showing up at accident scenes, attempting to drum up business. That's not very ethical behavior, and most people in this field are not like that. The field of personal injury law serves an important dual purpose:
- It helps people who have been injured get the money that they are already entitled to, and
- It ensures that negligent parties are held accountable
The second point is one that most people don’t really think about. A series of product liability lawsuits against the makers of the Takata airbag led all the major car manufacturers to recall tens of millions of vehicles – at great expense and trouble. This is just one example, but there are many each year in the areas of medical malpractice, premises liability, dog bite, and traffic accident injury. Every time someone has to pay because they did not take the necessary measures to protect others from harm, we all benefit.
Call a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury lawyers are not all alike. If you’ve been injured in an accident, it might take several months of work to put your case together, so it’s important you have a lawyer you like and trust. At Mattiacci Law, LLC, we care about you and your case. We are available to take your call right now, so contact us to get things started. You won’t pay us until we win money for you.