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What does a Personal Injury Law Firm do?

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  • Written By: Daphne Mallory
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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A personal injury law firm handles cases involving injury to individuals’ bodies, minds, and emotions. It often does not involve cases to recover personal property, but financial loss can be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit. Some of the cases that a personal injury attorney has to litigate or negotiate a settlement for include medical malpractice, auto accidents, and illness resulting from exposure to asbestos and bad faith insurance policies. Law firms that practice personal injury law retain individual cases as well as class action lawsuits. The firms that represent plaintiffs often charge a contingency fee, which means that attorneys deduct fees from damages awarded and they do not charge if they lose cases.

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Individuals who have suffered pain or are in need of medical treatment often seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. A medical malpractice law firm offers one type of personal injury lawyer who specializes in claims in which a medical provider or facility is accused of providing inadequate or poor medical treatment. For example, a patient may sue a surgeon for an improper hip replacement that makes it necessary for the patient to get another surgery in order to correct the mistake. That patient may sue for damages for the costs associated with the first and second surgeries, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. Some countries have enacted or are considering medical malpractice reform in order to limit the amount of lawsuits filed by plaintiffs on an annual basis.

Economic loss can also lead to personal injury, and it is another case type that a personal injury law firm may take on for its clients. Many of the cases often consist of plaintiffs who accuse companies of engaging in fraudulent and bad faith practices. For example, some plaintiffs file claims against disability companies that refuse to pay claims or stop payments on their disability insurance policy. Other cases that a personal injury law firm may take on that fall under fraudulent and bad faith practices include stock broker fraud, the denial of government benefits promised to civilians, and military benefits. Plaintiffs who win these cases may be awarded punitive damages against companies found guilty of engaging in these practices.

There are some types of cases that a personal injury law firm will often not handle despite the amount of emotional pain and suffering involved. These may include child support, divorce, and immigration cases. A personal injury attorney often has a network of attorneys who do handle those cases to refer prospective clients to.

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