A personal injury lawyer is an individual who assists those who have suffered physical or psychological injuries due to someone else’s negligence. An attorney who works in the personal injury field can provide legal services. This attorney can work in a court of law to prove the negligence of whatever person, entity, or company was responsible for the conditions leading to the injury.
Personal injury attorneys are sometimes referred to as “trial lawyers,” though many personal injury claims are settled out of court without the necessity of a trial.
While all attorneys must pass the state bar exam and qualify to practice law in his or her state, some states also require the attorney to pass a written ethics exam. Different states in the U.S. have varying requirement for personal injury. Some state bar associations specifically certify lawyers in the field of personal injury, which states like New Jersey give qualified attorneys the title of “Certified Trial Attorney,” to both plaintiff and defense attorneys.
There are professional organizations for personal injury law, such as the Ohio Association of Justice, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), and the American Association for Justice, which is headquartered in Washington D.C. and opposes tort reform.
In many trials, the personal injury lawyer must re-create – for the purpose of demonstrating the conditions to a jury – the situation at the time of the injury. By presenting a credible account of the physical environment, the actions of the various individuals involved, and the nature of the injury itself, the lawyer can show why the situation was unsafe. If there were, say, unsafe work conditions, an employer may be found negligible and subject to paying damages to the injured party.
Here are a few of the accomplishments necessary to become a personal injury attorney:
- You must have completed a four-year degree
Any attorney must have a four-year college degree successfully completed before he or she can begin law school. Many majors can qualify an applicant for law school, but among the most common are English, history, economics, political science, sociology, and philosophy. Any of these subjects will certainly be helpful in law school, and the study of legal precedents will touch upon all of these areas of study.
- You must have a strong LSAT score
The LSAT is the standardized test used by law schools to choose the incoming class of matriculating students. As the MCAT is to medical school and the GMAT is to business school, the LSAT is for law schools. A high score on the LSAT, along with a high collegiate grade point average, will improve the chances that one may be accepted to a reputable law school for graduate study.
- You must have completed law school and passed the bar
Law school typically takes three years to complete, after the four (or more) years for an undergraduate degree. After the law school degree — the J.D., or Juris Doctor degree — is achieved, any prospective personal injury attorney must pass the Bar Exam. The Bar Exam, after which one can be considered a barrister, is named for the bar petition separating the seats of the “benchers” from the rest of the hall in a courtroom. Those who have passed the examination are allowed to cross past the bar, or to move from where spectators observe court proceedings to where the action happens. The examination itself, a challenging and lengthy written test, covers the cases throughout history which have created the body of work — and the precedents in legal history — which have created the United States’ system of laws as we know them today.
CTBC Lawyers: Personal Injury Attorneys in Cincinnati
The attorneys at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen try workers compensation and personal injury cases across Southern Ohio and beyond and believe that the willingness to go to Court is an important attribute of a workers compensation or personal injury attorney.