Although personal injury attorneys have been trained to practice many kinds of law, they primarily are concerned with what is known as “tort” law. A tort is simply an action that wrongly causes harm to someone by another party, but is not necessarily a crime so is tried in a civil, not criminal, court.
The party claiming to have been wronged, the plaintiff, is said to have suffered an “injury.” It doesn’t have to be physical injury, though. It might be financial or psychological or some other type for which the plaintiff often seeks something to compensate them. The purpose of hiring a personal injury attorney, then, is to best represent the injured person and, through compensation, be made “whole” again.
Just as everyone arrested and charged with a crime (no matter their guilt or innocence) is entitled to legal representation — and their “day in court” as the saying goes — so are people who believe they have suffered wrongly by the action or inaction off others.
It has often been said that someone who chooses to represent his- or herself in court has a fool for a client. That may sound harsh, but the American legal system is a complex maze of rules and Latin phrases, and attorneys have trained and worked for years to learn how to navigate this system and speak its language.
As with medicine, there are different types of law. So just as one wouldn’t want a dermatologist to perform heart surgery, if someone feels they have been injured by another party, choosing a lawyer specializing in personal injury cases is probably a better bet than hiring real estate attorney.
It is true that we live in a litigious society in which everyone seems to be suing everyone else. This isn’t really true, of course. There may be more civil lawsuits today, but this is probably because modern citizens are more educated and aware of their rights under the law than people were decades earlier — not because there are more lawyers.
As any reputable personal injury attorney (in Sioux Falls or elsewhere) will tell a prospective client, they may have a case or they may not have a case. The job of this specialized lawyer is to use his or her training and experience to advise and, if they agree, to give the best representation possible.