What Roles do People Play in a Personal Injury Case?
Many individuals that file a personal injury lawsuit, after being injured, have little to no knowledge or experience with the legal system. By gaining a better understanding of who is typically involved in a personal injury case, you will have an idea of the roles different people play which can alleviate some of the stress of figuring out who is who and what side these people are on.
Plaintiff: A plaintiff, in a personal injury case, is the person or persons that sustained a personal injury as a result of the alleged negligent or intentional act or acts of the defendant or defendants. In other words, it is the person that was hurt and is filing a lawsuit.
Defendant: The defendant, in a personal injury case, is the person or persons that the plaintiff(s) alleges is liable for his or her injuries. This is the person or persons being sued. In some cases negligence may be imputed on another party, meaning that another party may be responsible for paying for all the damages.
Personal Injury Attorney: The personal injury attorney is the attorney that represents the injured party. Personal injury attorneys have the burden of proving that the plaintiff was injured and the defendant caused the injury negligently or intentionally. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingent fee basis, meaning if the plaintiff does not recover damages, the attorney is not entitled to compensation for their services.
Personal Injury Defense Attorney: The defense attorney in a personal injury case is typically an attorney hired by the defendant’s insurance company. Typically the terms of the insurance contract require the insurance company to retain the attorney on behalf of the insured. Sometimes the attorney is an employee of the insurance company, however, they are often local attorneys that contract with insurance companies.
Insurance Claims Adjuster: An insurance claims adjuster is an employee of an insurance company that determines a value of a plaintiff’s claim. It is the job of the claims adjustor to pay as little out as possible, if anything. If you are a plaintiff in involved in a personal injury case, you should refrain from speaking with claims adjusters and refer them to your attorney if you are represented.
Although personal injury cases vary in facts and circumstances, they generally follow the same format. If you have been injured by the negligent or intentional act of another, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before speaking with claims adjusters and defense attorneys. A lawyer well versed in personal injury matters can answer your questions and help guide you through the legal process following a personal injury.
If you or a family member has been injured or suffered injury, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the answer. It is critical that you seek the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney in order to ensure that your rights are protected and you recover what you may be entitled to. At Sanders.Law, we hold accountable those individuals responsible for personal injuries. Contact our personal injury claims attorneys in Kansas City, Missouri today for a free consultation.