Personal Injury is something of a catch all phrase incorporating many aspects of an area of practice. In essence any time someone is injured they have a “personal injury.” Whether or not you have legal rights for compensation depend on a number of factors. Primarily, the injury – whatever it may be – must have been caused by some kind of negligence. Negligence is a civil concept called a tort. It is not criminal in any way. In general terms the principles of negligence have to do with common sense type obligations that everyone has. If someone is not careful about upholding those obligations and that action or inaction results in an injury to someone’s physical body an entitlement for compensation is created.
Many types of entities can be determined to be negligent for a variety of reasons. An individual can but negligent but so can a company or public entity like a government. Negligence can be as simple as someone not paying attention and rear ending your car or as complicated as a tiny piece of machinery in a larger machine which malfunctioned. As a result the ability to prove negligence is based on all available evidence, witnesses and other materials which can be gathered together.
Since cases which are personal injury cases are part of the civil justice system, many attorneys who practice in this area refer to themselves as Civil Litigators or Civil Trial Attorneys. At the end of the day, if your case is going to be truly tested, it is going to go to trial. Since this is the most logical potential conclusion to your case it is important to ask your attorney the number and types of lawsuits they file. This information can easily be obtained through a public search. It is also important to ask whether your attorney plans to see your case to its conclusion or whether he or she plans to associate additional counsel. Associating additional counsel is not a bad thing and it costs the client nothing. Nevertheless it is important to know at the early stages of your case.
Attorneys who practice in the field of personal injury generally handle cases on a contingency basis. Unlike most attorneys who charge by the hour for their time, attorneys who work on contingency do not get paid until your case is concluded. Instead of being paid an hourly amount contingency fee attorneys will take a percentage of your gross recovery. For this reason both the client and the attorney have the same goals with regard to the outcome of the case. The client owes no fee if there is no recovery.