A Personal Injury Attorney helps clients with claims regarding injuries they sustain due to the negligence of others. These claims can include direct injuries from assault and battery, automobile accidents, defective or malfunctioning products, negligent conditions on someone else’s property (such as slipping and falling), slander, libel and defamation, or medical malpractice.
Basic knowledge of human anatomy, standard medical terms, and even physics can be helpful to a Personal Injury Attorney. They will frequently have to collaborate with, and take depositions from, medical professionals or reconstruct the details of an accident that caused an injury. Knowledge of insurance and liability laws relating to the attorney’s area of specialization is also critical. Skills common to most attorney positions — such as written and verbal communication, research, and negotiation — are crucial for a Personal Injury Attorney.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Advise and counsel clients on matters relating to injuries sustained through the negligence of another, such as auto accidents, assault and battery, or product liability
- Consult with doctors regarding the extent of a client’s injuries
- Write and file claims, motions, and court briefs
- Litigate cases in court if necessary
- Negotiate settlement terms with defendants and their insurance companies
Education and Background
This position requires a Juris Doctorate as well as a license to practice law in the state where the candidate will work.
Employers prefer candidates with board certification from the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA).
Skills and Competencies
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Knowledge of state and federal laws regarding safety, liability and insurance regulation
- Research skills
- Analytical thinking
- Expertise in negotiation
- Litigation experience
- Basic knowledge of medical terms
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Personal Injury Attorney with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $55,000
- Tampa, Florida: $56,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $47,000
- Miami, Florida: $66,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $62,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $80,000
- Houston, Texas: $63,000
- Los Angeles, California: $73,000
- New York City, New York: $58,000
- Seattle, Washington: $60,000
- Overall: $59,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $60,000
- Tampa, Florida: $68,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $62,000
- Miami, Florida: $80,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $81,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $90,000
- Houston, Texas: $78,000
- Los Angeles, California: $88,000
- New York City, New York: $82,000
- Seattle, Washington: $75,000
- Overall: $76,000
Similar Job Titles
- Auto Accident Attorney
- Medical Malpractice Attorney
- Libel and Defamation Attorney
- Product Liability Attorney
- Medical Attorney
- Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Attorney
- Accidental Injury Attorney
Personal Injury Attorneys are required to have a Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school as well as a license to practice law in the state where they work. College coursework in topics like biology, anatomy, physics, personal injuries, insurance law, and related subjects is helpful and can make candidates attractive to employers. Obtaining board certification from the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), which often requires passing a written exam, continuing legal education courses, and getting references from other legal professionals in the field, can make a Personal Injury Attorney stand out.
Most attorneys start in law firms as associates, then progress on either a partner or non-partner track, leading to positions as partners, senior attorneys, or of counsel.
The personal injury law field is a crowded one. Personal Injury Attorneys should be aware of marketing and advertising trends in the field to make themselves or their firms stand out. According to several legal marketing companies, including the web marketing firm Digital Logic, billboards, buses, and television ads are no longer the best ways to market a personal injury law firm. Instead, the industry is trending toward more professional, comprehensive websites with lots of information for potential clients searching for a Personal Injury Attorney. This information can include adding virtual web assistants like chatbots on the site to help potential clients and obtain basic information about their needs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Attorneys is expected to grow by six percent between 2018 and 2028, which is as fast as average.
The work hours in an office setting for a Personal Injury Attorney are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, many lawyers work more than 40 hours a week, especially when nearing deadlines or preparing for court proceedings.
Where You Can Find Jobs
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