Specialization matters: Personalized injury versus general attorneys

Those who suffer serious injury due to the negligence or reckless action of another may be eligible for compensation through a civil personal injury lawsuit. A civil lawsuit allows a victim to hold a responsible party legally accountable for their wrongdoing. When it comes to a personal injury claim, this can mean that the victim receives compensation to help cover the costs that result from the injury.

Why should victims consider hiring a specialized attorney?

Much like the medical field, the legal world has become specialized. Although legal professionals that offer an array of services can still provide aid, there are benefits to hiring a specialized attorney.

Attorneys may focus their practice on tax law, business formation, family law or personal injury. Those who focus on an area of the law likely have more experience within this area. An attorney that focuses solely on personal injury, for example, will likely be more familiar with the process then one who splits their day between family law, estate planning, criminal defense and handles the occasional personal injury case.

What is unique about personal injury cases?

Each area of the law has its own nuances. Attorneys who practice personal injury law will likely need to deal with insurance companies and medical professionals. Depending on the details of the case, this may also require dealing with Medicare or other state services.

These interactions may be needed to gather evidence to support the case. In some situations, an investigative team may also be needed. An attorney that focuses on personal injury is more likely to have a connection with investigators to help gather the information needed to build the claim.

Personal injury cases are also often subject to a statute of limitations. This time limit dictates how long a victim has to file a claim. The statute of limitations varies in each state and for each claim. A statute of limitations for an adult injured in a car accident, for example, will be different than the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case involving a child.

What are the options for resolution?

Once the victim chooses to move forward with a claim, there are generally two options for resolution. The first, and likely most well-known, is litigation. Litigation generally involves the traditional courtroom setting where both parties present their case in front of a judge and, in some cases, a jury. The judge or jury then makes a ruling based on the facts. Traditional litigation could also result in a settlement. This involves both parties negotiating a resolution.

The second option involves alternate dispute resolution. This can take the form of arbitration or mediation. It generally involves a neutral third-party overseeing negotiation between the victim and the individual accused of causing harm.

A personal injury attorney will have experience with both resolution options. They can discuss the option that is best for the victim's case. They can also provide the victim with a better idea of how the case will progress based on their previous experience.