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What does a Negligence Attorney do?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 17, 2024
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People are occasionally injured because of someone else's negligence or carelessness. When this occurs, legal action can be taken, which usually requires the assistance of a negligence attorney. Skilled at negotiating settlement agreements and prosecuting civil trials, these lawyers work hard to win cases for their clients. When they are successful, the defendant who is proven guilty of a careless act is often ordered to pay restitution to the plaintiff.

Each jurisdiction may have its own unique laws regarding personal injury torts. Additionally, statutes and procedures for filing motions and petitions can change from time to time. For this reason, a negligence attorney should be very knowledgeable about existing laws in his area of practice. This gives him the ability to litigate a case in a way that is most beneficial to his client.

Lawsuits may be filed against individuals and organization alike. When someone is injured at work due to the carelessness of the employer, for example, a corporation may be named as the defendant. If another person is directly responsible for the incapacitation of another, he can also be the subject of a lawsuit. A negligence attorney is responsible for proving culpability, or blame. Sometimes multiple people or companies are sued for the same incident.

The circumstances in which negligence occurs may vary. Some clients suffer long-term health complications due to medical malpractice, for example. A physician might inadvertently give a patient the wrong medication. Hospital staff may accidentally give someone a transfusion using the incorrect blood type. In cases like these, a negligence attorney may sue the doctor or hospital's medical malpractice insurance company in order to recover monetary compensation for the client.

A negligence attorney will usually accept cases he thinks he can win and decline ones that do not have reasonable merit. The reason for this is that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. As such, they are paid a percentage of a settlement amount or judgment if their clients prevail. On the other hand, a negligence attorney may not be paid any compensation for an unfavorable ruling.

The legal system is complex. For this reason, attorneys are required to complete a significant amount of schooling before they are allowed to work as a lawyer in any given jurisdiction. In the United States, for example, a negligence attorney first obtains an undergraduate degree, attends three years of law school and passes the bar exam before he is allowed to practice law. Even after years of legal experience, most attorneys continue to hone their skills by studying various case laws and reviewing legal journals.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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