You’ve heard the commercials… Bill Hotz and Associates are personal injury attorneys in Knoxville, TN.  But what does that mean?  What is a personal injury attorney?

personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who provides legal representation to anyone who claims that they have been physically or psychologically injured as a direct result of the negligence of any other person, company, or entity.  Because of this, personal injury attorneys are usually especially knowledgeable and have more experience in the area of law commonly known as tort law, which would include civil wrongs and damages to a personal property, reputation, or rights.

Personal injury attorneys are usually educated and licensed in a way that they may practice any area of the law, they commonly only deal with cases that fall under the definition of tort law which includes work related injuries, car wrecks and other accidents, faulty or defective merchandise and products, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and similar type cases.

The term “trial lawyers” can often refer to personal injury attorneys even though most cases that are taken on by personal injury lawyers are settled out of court rather than going to an actual trial.

Responsibilities

Personal injury attorneys are responsible for talking to prospective clients and examining their cases to decide if they have legal merit, identify the issues within the plantiff’s larger problem, and research the issue thoroughly to present a strong case. The primary professional responsibility of all personal injury attorneys is to help their plantiff receive justice and the compensation they deserve for their suffering and losses through legal advocacy, arguments, counseling, and advice.  In addition to this, a personal injury attorney may need to take the client’s case into a courtroom / trial if they cannot come to a settlement agreement with the other party.   Personal injury attorneys have many responsibilities they must adhere to in meeting the needs of their clients.  These include both professional and ethical concerns and rules determined by the state bar where attorneys receive their licensure. Once an attorney has a license to practice the law in that state from the state bar association, attorneys may legally file complaints, argue legal matters in any state court, create and write legal documents, and give legal advice to anyone who has been injured in an accident.

Personal injury attorneys are also bound to rather strict ethical standards when they deal with their clients. These ethical guidelines are different in each state but the basics remain the same.   All attorneys must perform with competence in all that they do and they owe their clients loyalty and complete confidentiality.

Certification and education

To become a practicing attorney in the US, a lawyer must pass a state bar examination and sometimes an ethics examination as well. Bar exams are different in each state. Most states require the applicants to have completed a 4 year degree program and also a legal degree from an accredited law school.  In most of the United States, all personal injury attorneys must pass the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and finally the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and also the state bar.