Learn What a Personal Injury Attorney Can Do For You.
America prides itself on being a society of laws. From the high-minded ideals of the U.S. Constitution to the lowliest of municipal ordinances, we structure our lives, in large part, in reliance on the fundamental guarantee of a predictable, fair, and accessible legal system.
Personal injury lawyers, ideally, help us navigate that system in all of its complexity. Because the law reaches into virtually every corner of day-to-day life, lawyers often spend their careers on a specific legal focus. Criminal defense lawyers defend the accused, estate lawyers write wills and plan legacies, business lawyers draft contracts and negotiate loans, and so on.
The team at Michael T. Gibson, P.A. consists of a particular category of attorneys known as personal injury lawyers. In this blog post, we explain what personal injury lawyers do, why they do it, and how they help when you need help most.
Personal Injury Overview
We like to think of personal injury law as an area of legal practice that has an intensely-individualized focus, but that also serves a vital society-wide purpose.
Personal Injury Lawyers Right Individual Wrongs…
Personal injury lawyers represent individuals who have suffered harm because of someone else’s unreasonably dangerous conduct. Their mission for each individual client is to obtain compensation—usually (but not always) money—to help a client recover and rebuild from a physical, emotional, and/or financial injury.
Orlando Personal injury lawyers are not the same as criminal prosecutors, though their jobs have some broad similarities. Prosecutors enforce criminal laws on behalf of The People as a whole, who suffer harm whenever someone commits a crime. Personal injury lawyers enforce civil laws on behalf of an injured individual, who suffers harm when someone else acts wrongfully and causes an injury (even if those wrongful actions do not amount to a criminal violation). Whereas a prosecutor seeks justice by obtaining a criminal punishment of the accused, a personal injury lawyer seeks justice by obtaining damages (usually money) from the wrongdoer.
…And Make Our Country a Safer, Fairer Place
For the most part, personal injury lawyers represent one client at-a-time, seeking compensation for a client’s specific injuries and losses resulting from specific wrongful actions of a specific individual or entity.
Still, in fighting on behalf of individual victims in individual cases, personal injury lawyers also serve a larger purpose. Holding people and organizations financially accountable for wrongful actions influences them and others like them to change their behavior. Over time, the settlements and jury verdicts personal injury lawyers obtain on behalf of individual clients spur lasting changes that protect other would-be victims from harm.
Thanks to the efforts of personal injury lawyers, for example, pharmaceutical companies withdraw dangerous drugs from the marketplace, automotive manufacturers fix defective tires and airbags, and road engineers redesign deadly intersections. Personal injury lawyers help to ensure that doctors make sound and safe medical decisions for patients. The lawsuits they file on behalf of injured victims spur legislatures to pass driving safety laws and regulators to bar the use of toxic materials in school buildings. One client at a time, personal injury lawyers make our country a safer, fairer place to live, work, raise a family, and grow old.
To be sure, Orlando personal injury lawyers sometimes take heat from politicians and lobbyists who complain about the high costs of supposedly-frivolous lawsuits. When you hear those critiques, however, ask yourself what the speaker has to gain in making them. The vast majority of personal injury lawyers fight, day-in, day-out, to protect the rights of innocent people who have suffered grave harm because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions. There is nothing frivolous about that mission. It serves the vital purpose of making sure the law works for, and protects, every one of us, and that everyone—not just the wealthy and powerful—has access to justice.
The Types of Cases Personal Injury Lawyers Handle
From the explanation above, it will likely come as no surprise to hear that personal injury lawyers represent clients in connection with a wide variety of preventable accidents and incidents. People can get hurt because of someone else’s wrongful actions in a virtually infinite range of settings and circumstances. However, the bulk of the injuries that occupy the efforts of personal injury lawyers result from a somewhat more limited set of scenarios, including the following.
Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents
Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents, as a whole, constitute leading causes of unintentional injury and death in the United States, year-in, year-out. Severe injuries including brain and spinal trauma, crushed limbs, and burns commonly result from motor vehicle accidents.
The vast majority of these accidents result from some type of human error, such as a poor decision or a careless action. The individuals and entities responsible for those decisions and actions (the parties at fault, in other words) often have a legal liability to anyone harmed in the accident. Florida, personal injury lawyers represent victims of motor vehicle accidents in seeking compensation from the victims’ own personal injury protection (PIP or no-fault) insurance carriers, and from at-fault parties (and their liability insurance carriers). So regardless of your accident, Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney firm has skilled car accidents lawyers, truck accident lawyers, and motorcycle accident lawyers waiting to assist with any legal questions you have.
For older Americans especially, falling accounts for a large percentage of unintentional injuries and deaths annually, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. The legal community sometimes refers to actions seeking compensation for fall injuries as slip and fall cases, however, falls happen for all sorts of reasons, of which slipping is merely one.
As a general matter, owners and operators of residential and commercial property in Florida have legal obligations to keep their premises safe for visitors, and to fix or warn about unsafe conditions that could lead to a fall. Personal injury lawyers work to hold those owners and operators accountable when they fail in that duty, and someone gets hurt in a fall on their premises.
A motor vehicle should never, ever, collide with a pedestrian. When that catastrophe happens, the pedestrian almost always suffers devastating injuries, many of which may prove fatal or permanently debilitating, including brain injuries, back injuries, internal and soft tissue damage, and severe orthopedic injuries. No matter where or how a pedestrian gets hit by a motor vehicle, the fact that a collision happened almost always means the driver of the motor committed an error that saddles the driver, and anyone answerable for the driver’s conduct, with legal liability. Pedestrian accident injury lawyers work to make sure pedestrian accident victims receive compensation for that tragic, preventable error.
No-Fault and Other Insurance Disputes
Sometimes, the biggest fight injured people have on their hands after an accident or incident is with their own insurance company. Drivers, homeowners, renters, and others purchase insurance to protect themselves and their families against the financial consequences of an injury or loss. Unfortunately, some insurance companies refuse to live up to their obligations to pay benefits when a customer files a valid claim. Insurance companies give all sorts of excuses for denying claims. They insist an injury is not covered, or that someone else should pay their customer instead, or that their insured customer failed to dot all the Is and to cross all the Ts.
Oftentimes, these excuses are bogus, and insurance companies give them to cover up the fact that they want to hold on to money for their own profit, instead of paying it to an insured customer. Personal injury lawyers know, however, that wrongfully denying an insurance claim is illegal, and they fight to hold insurance companies to their obligations to pay benefits to injured customers.
How Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers Do Their Jobs
Personal injury lawyers accomplish their goals for clients—compensation, accountability, and justice—through a variety of tasks performed in a variety of ways. As you might imagine, every client a personal injury lawyer represents has his or her own story, and every case has its own unique strengths, weaknesses, and potential outcomes. For that reason, what personal injury lawyers do for one client may differ from what they do for another. However, as a general proposition, personal injury lawyers get results for clients by:
Investigating the Facts Behind Accidents, Incidents, and Injuries
Personal injury lawyers have a special appreciation for the importance of investigating facts. As the old saying goes in the legal profession: facts are stubborn things, and as such, they form the foundation of any claim for damages. Personal injury lawyers prove facts by collecting evidence that they can, if necessary, present in court to show why the law requires someone to pay damages to the lawyer’s injured client.
Personal injury lawyers investigate the facts of the accident or incident that harmed their client, and the facts of their clients’ injuries, with two general goals in mind:
- Identify who has a legal liability to the injured client for damages, and the ability to pay; and
- Assess the full scope of a client’s injuries and the appropriate amount of financial compensation to remedy them.
These two fundamental pieces of information give lawyers and their injured clients the ability to target a legal claim for damages at one or more individuals or entities, and to demand a specific amount of money as damages that will meet the injured clients’ needs and goals.
Negotiating With Parties Who Have Legal Liability
Armed with facts supported by evidence that proves who has liability and how much money they should pay in damages, personal injury lawyers take action. Whether by filing a lawsuit or sending a demand letter, personal injury lawyers signal their intention of holding an individual or entity accountable for a client’s injuries and losses.
This action typically leads to negotiations between the personal injury lawyer on one hand, and representatives of the legally-liable parties (and often, their insurance companies) on the other. The personal injury lawyer’s goal in these negotiations is to convince the other side to offer an appropriate amount of money to settle the legal claim for damages.
A settlement is an agreement. The legally-liable party pays money to the personal injury lawyer’s client, in exchange for the client releasing that party from further liability. Most (but not all) personal injury cases resolve some sort of settlement. A skilled, seasoned personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate the best possible settlement for a client’s circumstances, and when to advise a client to accept or reject a settlement that the other side has offered.
Litigating a Case as Far as Necessary to Achieve Results
Personal injury lawyers often advance their clients’ interests through litigation, or the filing and pursuing a lawsuit in a court. Litigation is the formal way of filing a claim for damages against a legally-liable party. Often, a personal injury lawyer will, on a client’s behalf, file a lawsuit as part of an overall strategy to achieve a specific outcome either through a negotiated settlement or, when necessary, by winning a case at trial.
Litigation has many stages. Personal injury lawyers know how to navigate all of them. They collect facts and prepare filings, they collect information from and share information with the other side in a process called discovery, they make written arguments to courts through motions, and they appear in court to present evidence and arguments to a judge and jury in a trial.
The litigation process often happens at the same time as the negotiations described above. Oftentimes, what happens in the litigation influences the parties’ positions in settlement negotiations. That is why injured people should always select a personal injury lawyer who has the skill and experience to take a case all the way to trial, and who has a track record of getting results both in and out of the courtroom.
Find a Skilled Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Personal injury lawyers take great pride in helping people amid difficult, traumatic circumstances. To make their services affordable to anyone who has suffered an injury or loss, personal injury lawyers represent clients on contingency, meaning they get paid for their legal services only if they obtain compensation for their clients. Through this arrangement, personal injury lawyers and their clients have the same basic goals: achieving justice, accountability, and compensation.
Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney
2420 S. Lakemont Avenue
Orlando, FL 32814