Last Updated on January 17, 2024

What Does a Personal Injury Attorney Do?

A personal injury attorney is a lawyer who provides legal services to those who have suffered injuries, whether physical or psychological, due to the actions or negligence of another party. The injuries can vary from car accidents to slips and falls to medical malpractice and workplace incidents.

Personal injury attorneys assist their clients in a variety of ways, including:

  • Helping clients file claims and lawsuits against the responsible parties. They gather evidence, determine the liable parties, demonstrate negligence, and advocate for proper compensation for their clients.
  • Negotiating settlements out of court when possible. Many injury cases are settled before going to trial. An attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to try to reach a satisfactory settlement.
  • Representing clients in court if a fair settlement cannot be reached. They argue the case in court to obtain a favorable outcome.

Investigating the Accident and Gathering Evidence

A critical task for any personal injury attorney is conducting a thorough investigation into the accident and gathering all relevant evidence. This involves:

  • Reviewing police reports, medical records, and other documentation to piece together what transpired leading up to and during the accident. Understanding the precise circumstances can reveal factors that led to injuries.
  • Interviewing eyewitnesses who observed the accident firsthand. Their accounts can provide critical details to support the client's version of events.
  • Consulting expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists who can analyze the physics of the collision. Medical experts like doctors can provide opinions on the extent of injuries sustained.
  • Documenting the accident scene through detailed diagrams, measurements, and photographs. Evidence like skid marks or debris locations may factor into demonstrating negligence.

Proper evidence gathering is key in proving liability and establishing the losses and damages owed to the injured victim. A seasoned personal injury lawyer will leave no stone unturned in constructing the strongest case possible.

Determining Liability

A key part of a personal injury lawyer's work is establishing who is legally liable for the client's injuries. This involves:

  • Identifying potentially liable parties. There may be multiple individuals or entities whose negligence or intentional actions caused the accident and injuries. Common targets include drivers, property owners, product manufacturers, or even employers.
  • Establishing negligence or recklessness based on New York law. To prove liability, the attorney must demonstrate the other party failed to act with reasonable care or consciously disregarded risks. Key elements include:
  1. Duty – the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff under the circumstances. For example, drivers must drive safely to avoid collisions.
  2. Breach – the defendant breached their duty through negligence. A driver texting behind the wheel would qualify.
  3. Causation – the breach of duty directly caused the injury. The collision resulting from distracted driving led directly to physical harm.
  4. Harm – actual damage or loss occurred. Medical costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering awards stem from the crash injuries.

Succeeding on all four elements results in the at-fault party being liable for damages.

Skilled personal injury lawyers are well-versed in New York civil procedure and litigation tactics aimed at achieving favorable case resolutions.

Seeking Compensation for Client's Injuries

A key objective for any personal injury attorney is to maximize the compensation their injured client receives. This involves:

  • Calculating all economic damages the client incurred, including:
  1. Medical expenses – Bills for hospitalization, procedures, rehabilitation etc.
  2. Lost income and future earnings
  3. Property losses – Repairs or replacement costs
  • Assessing non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The impacts are intangible but substantial.
  • Pursuing sufficient compensation through settlement negotiations or jury awards at trial. Experienced lawyers reasonably quantify losses using verifiable figures and precedent.

Securing fair restitution is essential, enabling clients to cover all accident-related losses – both financial and human. Top attorneys can deliver 7 and 8-figure recoveries for many types of injuries in New York.

Additional Services Personal Injury Attorneys Can Do

On top of the major tasks covered already, talented personal injury lawyers also:

  • Refer clients to reputable doctors and specialists to evaluate injuries, develop treatment plans, and serve as expert witnesses if needed. Aligning with respected medical professionals strengthens the case.
  • Communicate regular case updates and tailored legal advice so clients can make fully informed decisions. Lawyers keep clients apprised of settlement offers, hearing dates, and trial preparations to provide guidance on recommended actions.
  • Counsel clients patiently to outline all options – good and bad. This empowers clients to decide the best path aligned with their priorities, risk tolerance, and circumstances.

Seasoned personal injury attorneys view clients as partners to build a relationship with. They continue serving as trusted advisors long after resolving the initial accident case. Prioritizing open communication and customized counsel is key throughout the process. Many of these cases can go on for years, so it's extremely important to find a group of attorneys who are invested and trusted in dealing with your case.

Get Experienced Legal Representation After Suffering Personal Injuries

If you or a loved one suffered harm in an accident due to another party's negligence or misconduct, the qualified personal injury attorneys at the Porter Law Group are here to help. We have much expertise in handling injury claims all throughout New York and recovering over millions for victims and families.

Our legal team operates on a contingency basis, meaning no upfront fees for you. We are fully committed to protecting your rights and interests every step of the way. We aim to maximize your compensation so you can move forward in your recovery process.

Contact us directly at 833-PORTER9 or email for a free consultation and case evaluation by our trusted lawyers. 

Written By
Michael S. Porter
Personal Injury Attorney
Originally from Upstate New York, Mike built a distinguished legal career after graduating from Harvard University and earning his juris doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law. He served as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, gaining expertise in trial work, and is now a respected trial attorney known for securing multiple million-dollar results for his clients while actively participating in legal organizations across Upstate NY.
Legally Reviewed on January 9, 2024
Eric C. Nordby
Personal Injury Attorney
Eric, with nearly three decades of experience in personal injury litigation, holds a law degree with honors from the University at Buffalo School of Law and a Bachelor's Degree from Cornell University. His extensive career encompasses diverse state and federal cases, resulting in substantial client recoveries, and he actively engages in legal associations while frequently lecturing on legal topics.
This Article Was Professionally Reviewed
This page was Legally Reviewed by Eric C. Nordby on January 9, 2024. Our experts verify everything you read to make sure it's up to date. For information on our content creation and review process read our editorial guidelines. If you notice an error or have any questions about our content please contact us.
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