In my life I have often been asked what life is like for a personal injury lawyer. Many people assume that a personal injury lawyer is impervious to the many stories of pain and suffering because we have heard so many. They assume that we have made millions of dollars during our careers and that we live life doing whatever we please.
Now that I have retired and am living in the UK I have had time to really consider what my old life as a personal injury lawyer was like, and I thought it could make an interesting blog post, so here it is.
A Personal Injury Attorney
To understand what my life was like then you have to understand what I did professionally. As a personal injury claims lawyer I went to battle for people who, through no fault of their own, had been injured by someone else’s negligent behaviour.
Many of the people I represented were injured to the point that their entire lives were changed forever. If those individuals did not have legal representation then the insurance companies would have paid them a small pittance that would not have been anywhere near the amount of money they had to put out on their injuries. I feel that I was an advocate for the people who could not stand up and fight for their own rights. I was a crusader for equality, and justice.
What kind of cases I was Involved in
During my days of active practice I represented people who were injured in slip and fall accidents, auto accidents, heavy machinery accidents, medical malpractice injuries, sports related injuries, birth related injuries and just about any other personal injury you could think of.
I represented any person who came to me with an injury that was the result of actions of another person, the lack of actions of another person, or equipment failure. I helped people to negotiate with the insurance companies and their solicitors. Some injury claims lawyers only practice one specific type of injury law, but I have worked on almost every type there is.
What kind of person makes a good personal injury lawyer?
In order to be successful in this profession a person must be able to have empathy for the pain and suffering of others. A good personal injury lawyer cares about other people and is capable of visualizing themselves in situations that are closely related to the ones their clients are going through.
The professionals must be determined in order to put forth the effort it requires to fight the big insurance companies and make them pay for the damages their clients are responsible for. A personal injury claim is looked on by the big insurance companies as a nuisance. The insurance representative will do everything in their power to pay the injured party the least amount of money that they can for the damages caused in their accident.
Sometimes insurance representatives make offers to injured people so fast after an accident that the injured person does not even know the full extent of their condition. As an attorney representing the injured I scrutinized these offers to determine if they were fair, or if they were simply a way to get someone to take a little money and forget that they had their lives altered. As an attorney I had to be educated on all aspects of the personal claims laws, and I even had to have a working knowledge of medical terminology.
I would also say that these attorneys have to be ready to be available to their clients virtually 24/7. Not all clients can come into an office so the attorney must be willing to go to medical facilities and to private homes to meet with their clients. Being available and flexible is crucial if you want to be a successful personal injury lawyer.
What do I consider to be a successful personal injury lawyer?
I consider a lawyer that has a client base that is represented tirelessly to be successful. If the lawyer can look back on the cases they helped and see that in more than ninety percent of the cases the people they represented were better off for having known them then they were a true success.
If you can look back like I am doing now and see that for most of your clients you were able to negotiate a fair settlement that kept the client from having the hassle of court proceedings then you were successful.
G Macs final thought
If at the end of the day you can be proud of your accomplishments, if you can say you did your best, then you are a success. Personal injury is an emotional type of law that requires you to remain calm and collected despite how you are really feeling. It requires you to give your clients one hundred percent of your attention, and for you to devote however much time it takes to make sure that the injured are compensated for their loss.