Personal Injury Lawyer vs. Insurance Companies: The Whats And Whys

The aftermath of an accident or injury can be an extremely challenging experience. Along with a health and financial burden, legal complexities further add to the stress and uncertainty. 

We often look at insurance companies to step in for us. Yet, when faced with adversity, having a capable advocate on your side can be truly invaluable. Here’s where a personal injury lawyer enters the discussion. 

Unintentional or accidental injuries rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States, following closely behind heart disease and cancer in terms of mortality rates. This underscores the significant importance of this topic. 

This comprehensive guide covers the whats and whys of personal injury lawyers and reiterates the need to get one.

What Is A Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer is a legal representative who stands for individuals experiencing harm due to the carelessness or misconduct of another party.

Common cases include motor vehicle collisions, product liability disputes, and medical negligence. Additionally, they provide legal representation for families who have tragically lost loved ones, pursuing wrongful death claims on their behalf. 

What Is An Insurance Lawyer?

An insurance defense lawyer handles insurance-related matters, particularly personal injury claims. They may be employed by a defense law firm, tasked with representing insurance companies, or serve as in-house counsel for an insurance provider. 

Their responsibilities include handling various types of insurance claims, including workers’ compensation and cases involving bad-faith insurance practices. Their involvement typically commences when an injured party initiates legal action, where they serve as the defendant’s representative. Their primary objective is to resolve the claim without attributing liability to the insurance company.

What Exactly, Then, Is the Difference Between the Both?

The primary distinction lies in their goals.

Personal injury lawyers — seek compensation and justice for their client’s pain and damages. 

Insurance defense lawyers — shield insurance companies or their clients, striving to reduce or reject responsibility on behalf of the insurer.

Recently, new legislation was approved in Georgia to protect some businesses from facing lawsuits but stopped short on a measure aimed at curbing personal injury cases. Georgia is one of four states that allow direct actions against the insurers of commercial vehicle operators. 

This is why, in complex accidents in Georgia, the procedure of filing and litigating a personal injury claim will depend on various factors. Litigation does get overwhelming, but one need not navigate this alone. 

If you’ve experienced a personal injury in Atlanta, seeking assistance from a local attorney can be immensely beneficial. A personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will be skilled at legal intricacies, providing guidance and representation in negotiations and court proceedings.

Finding a legal representative with expertise and an excellent track record is crucial. The Atlanta Personal Injury Law firm emphasizes the importance of selecting an experienced and dedicated attorney. You need the right resources to litigate your case effectively. 

Why A Personal Injury Lawyer Is A Better Choice

The difference is clear. Personal injury lawyers focus on the needs and rights of injured individuals. Insurance defense lawyers serve the interests of insurers. 

In this section, we will talk about why the former is a superior choice.  We also have case examples to highlight why you are better off with committed legal representation.

Client Advocacy

They prioritize their clients’ best interests at all times. No matter where they are in the legal process, they advocate for the client every step of the way. Personal injury verdicts or settlements — they work for the client.

While jury verdicts that award tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars often capture headlines, settlements receive less attention. Reports show that most personal injury cases are resolved through settlements rather than trials. It’s vital to grasp the process of reaching settlements.

Immense Experience With Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury lawyers are experts in this field of law, with considerable experience in navigating the intricacies of personal injury claims. 

They understand insurance policies, liability laws, and courtroom procedures.

Indeed, statistics indicate that over 90% of the cases handled by personal injury lawyers result in settlements. This wealth of experience is immensely valuable in itself.

Negotiation And Litigation Skills

Personal injury lawyers are expert negotiators. They possess the capabilities to champion their clients’ interests, whether during settlement discussions or throughout the entirety of legal proceedings.

Armed with the resources and knowledge to negotiate with insurance companies, they can, if necessary, take cases to trial to pursue the best possible outcome for their clients.

In 2022, a woman sued Walmart for over $290,000 after slipping on plastic in their store in Monroe County. She claimed she was directed to an aisle by a Walmart employee, where she slipped on plastic covering an area under repair, injuring herself. 

In 2024, Walmart was ordered to pay $300,000 after evidence showed a Walmart employee caused the spill. Despite initially denying responsibility, surveillance footage revealed the employee’s actions, supported by witness testimony. Unexpected by Walmart, the verdict was affirmed by The Court of Appeals of Georgia.

In another case in Georgia this year, a man tragically died in a collision with a tractor-trailer. His family filed a lawsuit in Gwinnett County State Court. They blamed the incident on the negligence of G.R.E.L. Trucking L.L.C.’s employee, who failed to yield, causing a fatal collision. The plaintiff’s lawyer found that the tractor-trailer was not inspected for two years, had defective lighting, and lacked proper reflective tape. All this made it dangerously inconspicuous. The case settled for $32.5 million.

The difference is clear. Personal injury lawyers focus on the needs and rights of injured individuals. Insurance defense lawyers serve the interests of insurers. 

These case examples highlight instances where personal injury lawyers obtained substantial settlements for their clients, emphasizing the significance of having committed legal representation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does A Personal Injury Claim Mean?

A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action initiated when you’ve sustained injuries in an accident caused by another party. A party that is liable for your accident or injury, implies that they’re at fault and you may be able to make a compensation claim. For example, if you’ve suffered due to medical negligence, the staff who treated you will be held liable for your injuries.

What Are Some Examples Of Personal Injuries?

Automobile collisions, premises liability incidents, instances of medical negligence, defective product claims, and workplace injuries. For example, car crashes and slips and falls are common types of personal injury cases. At the workplace, the most common are falls. These could be due to tripping over an open desk, loose carpeting, electrical cords or wires, etc.

What Could Affect Personal Injury Compensation?

Some factors include the personal details of the victim i.e. their age and health conditions. The severity of the victim’s injuries is an important factor as well. The known impact of the injuries on the victim’s day-to-day operations and their ability to lead a normal life is also considered.

Ultimately, legal proceedings can get complex. The guidance of a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer thus becomes invaluable. With their expertise, personal injury lawyers are better suited to understand legalities to secure favorable outcomes. Selecting the appropriate legal representative when confronted with the aftermath of an injury can significantly impact the outcome, ensuring justice is served and rightful compensation is obtained.

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