So you have been recently hurt in a car accident. You have some pain or injury discomfort and want to get checked out, but you can’t afford the out-of-pocket expense, and even then, you feel the responsible party should be paying for it, not you. You begin to think of your strategy, and ultimately, you decide to contact a lawyer. Now what?
I began my personal injury paralegal career, ironically, by accident. After working in the criminal defense field, my passion to help people drove me to seek alternate areas of law where my skills would come in handy. The job market was dry at the time and the only position I was able to land was as a personal injury paralegal.
I never knew or thought much of the “PI” field. The only contact I had ever had thus far was from acquaintances and their work stories, but nothing concrete. In my mind, the PI field was simple: you file some insurance claims and collect the medical damages to pay for a client’s treatment; all paperwork. Though the last phrase is not necessarily wrong, it fails to do justice to the vast world of personal injury law, and all the factors that can and will determine the outcome.
I soon realized that, if as a paralegal I had many unanswered questions, my clients would too. Intake after intake I interviewed clients who did not know what to do or how to even begin. All they knew is they needed help. I told myself that I would inform, to the best of my abilities, every client that came through our doors about the basic steps and procedures, as well as obstacles, that a personal injury case so that they too could understand the process a bit better. In doing so, not only would I be sharing knowledge and informing clients, but I would also make my job easier by opening their eyes and leveling their expectations.
When you finally decide to reach an attorney, you will be invited to make an appointment. One important thing to consider is that most appointments will be with a paralegal, not the attorney. Do not worry. Understandably, meeting with an attorney is far more attractive, but it is not necessary, mainly because a personal injury case is ruled by facts. A well-trained paralegal will be able to identify the main aspects of your case and present them in short version to the attorney, who will then make a determination.
Another piece of information to keep in mind is that a case is not always a case. You may feel as though there has been an injustice done against you but one must always leave room for the alternative. A lawyer does not choose whether you have a case or not; the legislature or case law does. But even if you do have a case, it does not mean an attorney will be able to represent you. Consult with an experienced attorney such as the Personal Injury Lawyer Arlington TX locals trust.
A special thanks to our authors at Brandy Austin for their insight into Personal Injury Law.