Only those who have met with a devastating accident, been subject to workplace discrimination or medical practice will know the extent to which their lives can be turned upside down due to the incident. The only recourse for them is to seek justice and compensation from the party responsible. It is only when that the matter cannot be resolved amicably, that the plaintiff needs to engage a personal injury lawyer to represent him in a lawsuit.
How Is the Claim Processed?
In the very initial stages the solicitors engaged by the plaintiff would meet with him to understand what the issue is all about and to ascertain if at all the claim is legally tenable. The other thing the attorneys also establish at this point of time is how the case would be funded. For example, in many cases the trade union of which the plaintiff might be a member might support him financially or the plaintiff might be covered with relevant insurance. Many claims are also taken on by the law firm on a contingent basis, i.e. they get paid only if they win the case, and that too the payment is out of the settlement.
For plaintiffs who do not have enough money to support themselves even after getting the law firm to work on a contingent basis, it could be a good idea of consider sources of funding such as pre-settlement lawsuit funding companies. These are basically financiers who if satisfied that the case has merits adequate for a promising settlement value will agree to lend the plaintiff a certain percentage of the expected monetary value of the case. This advance is also on a non-recourse basis, which means that the plaintiff needs to repay the money along with the interest and fees only if the case is decided in the plaintiff’s favor.
Getting Ready for the Lawsuit
After understanding the facts of the case, the plaintiff’s attorney sends a legal notice to the party that has allegedly committed the injury with the facts of the case. The notice also sets out the allegations of negligence or breaches of statutory duty that has caused injury to the client. In case the respondent fails to address the allegations adequately and befittingly, the attorney may choose to institute a lawsuit before the competent court. If the claim is not resolved then attorneys from both the sides collect evidence and make representations before the court defending their positions and seek a court ruling.
The Initial Stages of the Career
It is likely that a fresh law graduate wanting to practice personal injury law will start out as a trainee in an established legal firm. During the traineeship period, they are expected to meet with clients and interview them to build up the case files. They will always be acting under instructions of their seniors and observe not only the conferences between the attorneys but also the proceedings in court. Under supervision, they will also be charged with preparing and filing the various court papers as well as drafting the statements of witnesses, writing letters and transcripts of the proceedings in court. One of the most crucial tasks they do is to conduct research so that their seniors are adequately armed with the facts of the case and its legal precedents.
Qualities That Make for a Successful PI Lawyer
There are no fixed hours of work; the amount of work that is needed to be put in, especially by trainees can be quite large as they will be assisting their seniors in a number of cases, all of which may be in different stages. Aspiring personal injury lawyers need to be very meticulous in the work and have a fine eye for detail. They need to have an extremely analytical brain and be able to deduce relationships between apparently unconnected issues. A very high level of mental dexterity and oral and written communication skills are the hallmarks of successful lawyers. Above all they need to sustain their level of motivation and be charged with the concept of helping people to obtain their legal rights.
Author bio: Nathan Quinn is a personal injury lawyer who has worked in some of the most prominent lawsuit funding companies. Now retired, he is the editor of an online legal journal that monitors trends and news in personal injury litigation.