A personal injury lawyer assists and represents people who have been injured. These injuries may be physical or psychological, and may merit compensation via legal recourse.
These lawyers are trial lawyers, though personal injury cases often settle out of court rather than going to trial. Nonetheless, your legal counselor for personal injuries will be prepared to represent you in trial if that is deemed necessary.
To enter this field, an attorney-in-training must study historical cases and current legal frameworks to understand precedent and procedure. The laws surrounding personal injury are ever-evolving. Therefore, continuing to be vigilant and informed, and keeping up to date on legal changes, are parts of the job description.
Personal Injury Attorneys In Ohio
In Ohio, a personal injury lawyer must pass a written bar examination – it is a three-day test which involves Ohio Law scenario-based essay questions, and a 200 multiple choice questions known as the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). In addition, all prospective attorneys are tested under the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). Ohio also requires candidates to successfully pass a Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in order to be admitted into the Bar.
Every personal injury lawyer must adhere to a rigorous set of ethical regulations. The American Bar Association (ABA) is a professional association that helps enforce these ethical standards, and all of the lawyers at CTBC are members of this association. We owe every client our loyalty and confidentiality, and are sworn to protect our clients’ best interests. These ethical guidelines help ensure that working in tort law helps promote and maintain an effective and fair justice system.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Some parts of the job involve collecting and verifying details of the case and the incident. Your attorney may interview witnesses to collect statements. He or she will likely take many photographs of the scene of the accident, so as to explain the setting in court with greater detail and specificity. Also, official reports — police reports, insurance filings, etc. — will need to be collected and made presentable.
Your attorney will also collect medical records. Reports from physicians and other medical professionals who assisted you will help the case, as will medical bills and paystubs indicating the loss of income due to missed work. Sometimes the medical records can take quite a long while to pull together, as different health care facilities can have a slow process for producing and distributing those documents.
Your personal injury lawyer will approach the insurance company and ask for an offer of a settlement amount. This process can also be lengthy, given the internal mechanisms within the insurance company for determining the amounts of offered settlement.
If the insurance company offers an insufficient amount in their settlement — as is often the case — then the attorney will attempt to negotiate or file a lawsuit. The defendants named in the suit must file a response, and customarily this must happen within a month of the time they are served papers.
The Discovery Phase
After these responses arrive, it is time to begin the discovery phase of the lawsuit. This is when witnesses are deposed, experts provide testimony, and those responsible for the injury must speak on their own behalf.
In this discovery phase, attorneys and their clients take stock of all of the case’s facts, and attempt to fully understand what information the other party knows. The injured party will have his or her perspective on the events leading to the injury. The party being sued will have a different take on the details of those events. Each side will discover the ways in which the other party’s understanding of the situation differs.
Part of the reason for this phase is that neither side’s counsel wants to have any surprises at trial. Both sides’ attorneys need to know, essentially, what the other legal team will be presenting in trial. This allows both teams to craft a trial strategy that is appropriate for the material being covered, and the narrative being constructed by the other attorneys.
There are four types of discovery that attorneys can use in personal injury cases: interrogatories (questions), depositions, request for production of documents, and request for admission of facts.
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in Cincinnati
We can help answer any questions you may have about injury compensation at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen LPA. Our office is in downtown Cincinnati, at 810 Sycamore St. If you call us at 513.721.6500, someone from our team would be happy to assist you.