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What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

by Christian Scranton

If you’ve been injured or been the victim of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have been advised to seek out a personal injury lawyer. But just what exactly are personal injury lawyers and what do they do?

First of all, let’s look at what counts as a personal injury. This simple term covers any damage done to you and your health, as opposed to damage to your property, such as your car or home. This may include a broken bone, a burn or something less obvious, like mental anguish. The crux of any personal injury case is fault. If there is a party to blame, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit or attempt to negotiate a settlement without having to resort to a court case.


Value Of A Personal Injury Claim

As an example, let’s consider a car accident: if you are rear-ended by another driver on the road because they weren’t paying due attention, they may be held liable for any damage to your car along with any injuries you sustain. If you suffer whiplash and require a trip to the hospital for check-ups, then physiotherapy and potentially also chiropractic treatment, you may be able to recover all of these expenses as well as any time you had to take off work. There are other costs to consider as well, such as childcare during your medical appointments. Even though a car accident like this can seem minor, you can see that the costs quickly start to mount up. We believe it’s unfair for you to cover all of these inconveniences yourself if you haven’t done anything wrong. And just imagine how much this situation escalates if the personal injury in question is more serious. This is where personal injury lawyers step in


Just like any lawyer, personal injury lawyers have to complete a degree then pass the bar exam. Personal injury lawyers are simply lawyers that have chosen to specialize in a certain area of tort law, which is the law of fault. This simply refers to any civil wrong done to a plaintiff (the victim) that has resulted in their suffering. If you have been the victim of another party’s negligence, such as a company failing to provide a safe product or a service provider failing to ensure a safe environment for consumers, your personal injury lawyer can represent your rights in settlement negotiations or at court.

If you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer in California, look no further than Scranton Law. With expertise in personal injury cases of all sizes, we’ll quickly be able to tell you if you have a case. Get in touch today so we can arrange a free no-obligation consultation.

Personal Injury Lawyer FAQ’s

1. What does a personal injury lawyer do in California?

A personal injury lawyer in California represents individuals who have been physically or psychologically injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, government agency, or entity. They provide legal advice, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, litigate in court to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.

2. When should I hire a personal injury lawyer in California?

It’s advisable to consult with or hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident or injury. Early consultation can help preserve evidence, witness testimonies, and ensure that you’re informed about your rights. Additionally, given California’s statute of limitations, timely action is essential for valid legal claims.

3. How are personal injury lawyers in California compensated?

Most personal injury lawyers in California operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that they don’t charge upfront fees. Instead, they take a percentage of the compensation awarded to their client, either through a settlement or a court judgment. If the lawyer does not win the case, they typically do not receive any payment. This ensures that the attorney is motivated to secure the best possible outcome for their client.

4. How can I choose the right personal injury lawyer in California?

Choosing the right lawyer involves:

  • Experience: Ensure they have experience in handling personal injury cases, especially ones similar to yours.
  • Reputation: Check reviews, ratings, and even ask for references.
  • Communication: Your lawyer should be communicative, transparent, and available to answer your queries.
  • Resources: Personal injury claims can require significant resources, like hiring expert witnesses or reconstructing accident scenes. Ensure your lawyer has the means to do so.
  • Fees: Understand their fee structure and any potential out-of-pocket costs.

5. Are there specific laws in California that personal injury lawyers should be well-versed in?

Yes, personal injury lawyers in California should be familiar with the state’s specific statutes and regulations, including:

  • Statute of Limitations: The time frame within which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed.
  • Comparative Negligence Rule: In cases where the injured party is partly at fault, this rule reduces the compensation based on the percentage of their fault.
  • Damage Caps: California has certain restrictions on the amount of compensation, especially in medical malpractice cases.

Knowledge of these and other nuances of California law ensures that your lawyer can effectively advocate for your rights.


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