Personal injury law is a general term for an intentional injury to one’s body, emotions or mind, rather than an accidental injury to property. In Anglo-American jurisdictions, the phrase is primarily used to describe a sort of tort suit in which the plaintiff (the plaintiff’s” Claimant”) has allegedly been injured by another person (the defendant “defendant” in English Law or “offender” in Australian jurisdiction). If successful, the plaintiff may recover damages from the defendant. Conversely, if unsuccessful, the defendant may seek to mitigate or excuse the damage. For example, if a motorist is injured in a car accident on a public road, the driver’s insurer can make a defense that the accident wasn’t really his fault because he had been traveling at the time in question, was “merely” driving under the influence of alcohol, and didn’t know what he was doing.
Personal injury law is complex and demanding, making it an expensive area for lawyers to practice in. It requires specialized knowledge and skill to bring cases to court and then to survive the process, during which time the attorney must build a case for damages from witnesses and medical records, trial, appeals, and settlements. Because compensation can be quite substantial, attorneys must also maintain good client relations skills. As in any profession, good relationships with the opposing party are essential if a lawyer is to survive in personal injury law. Most insurance companies and employers offer limited liability protection and limited medical benefits, so victims may not recover the entire value of their losses. In addition, it is often more difficult for plaintiffs to prove actual damages, especially where they have been injured in a place that is not generally considered a risk-free area.
Most personal injury law firms begin their representation of injured people by interviewing clients and preparing personal injury litigation agreements and case histories. Attorneys also generally interview potential jurors at trials and attempt to develop a friendly relationship with them to ease their preparation of the case. Once a case begins in a court, attorneys must continue to pursue the case to ensure that all the necessary paperwork is filed, with the exception of motions and final briefs, with the appropriate clerk. This process can be very frustrating for injured parties and for the attorneys, who must follow every step to ensure that everything is done correctly.