personal injury lawyer (sometimes called an accident attorney) is a lawyer who represents people that claim to have been injured, physically or psychologically, from the negligence or fault of a person, a company, a government agency. Even though personal injury lawyers are trained and licensed to practice virtually any field of law (as all lawyers are,) they choose to specialize in cases that fall under “tort law” including work injuries, automobile and other accidents, defective products, medical mistakes, and slip and fall accidents.

The expression “trial lawyers” can refer to personal injury lawyers, because even though most cases handled by personal injury lawyers settle rather than going to trial, personal injury attorneys pursue litigation to position their cases for settlement, whereas some other types of lawyers never step foot in court.  Personal Injury/Accident lawyer have various duties in serving his or her clients. These obligations include professional and ethical rules put forward by state bar associations where the attorneys are authorized.  Once they are authorized by their state bar association, legal advisors are legitimately allowed to offer counselling and guidance and to file lawsuit on behalf of their clients in state courts.  Personal Injury attorneys can also be licensed to handle matters for clients in Federal Court.

Sometimes personal injury lawyer called Plaintiff’s Attorneys, even though there are also attorneys that do defense work, representing those that are sued for personal injuries.  Those attorneys usually work for insurance companies.  Many personal injury attorneys will offer a free consultation to decide whether or not they want to take on a new matter.  Most personal injury attorneys work on a “contingency retainer,” which means that the client pays nothing unless money is collected.  This is, of course a risk for the attorney who might end up investing cash and resources for a case and will have a loss if nothing can be collected.  That’s why a smart personal injury lawyer will be very selective about what they take on.  Personal injury lawyers must follow strict ethical rules.  The guidelines do vary from State to State, but what is always paramount is that lawyers owe a duty of loyalty and confidentiality and must zealously prosecute cases for their clients.

In order to practice personal injury/accident law in the United State, a lawyer must sit for and pass at least one State Bar Examination.  Most States also require four years of college and three years of law school.  There are also graduate degrees in various legal specialities that some personal injury/accident attorneys might also have obtained.  Ask your personal injury/accident attorney about his or her qualifications.  Sometimes personal injury/accident attorney will have very narrow specialities such as a malpractice attorney that focuses their practice on a specific disease.  Other examples of narrow personal injury/accident attorney specialities include maritime law (laws of the sea), railroad or aviation accidents.

If you are injured in an accident or in some other way by the fault of another, it is always in your best interests to consult with a personal injury.  Ask the lawyer how much of their practice is devoted to personal injury and accident law.  You wouldn’t want your gynaecologist doing your root canal, so probably you don’t want a divorce lawyer to handle your accident cases.

Call Wittenstein & Wittenstein 718-261-8114, experienced professional personal injury and accident lawyers if you have any questions.  Always remember JUSTICE IS SWEET.