What does a personal injury lawyer do?

Hugh McAngus, Attorney, Carolina Law Group, Greenville, SC
Hugh McAngus. | Attorney

If you’re injured in a car wreck, slip and fall incident, or some other accident that wasn’t your fault, you may decide to work with a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. But what does a personal injury attorney do exactly? Here’s what you can expect.

Advise You on What to Do and What Not to Do

Many people who hire a personal injury attorney do so only once in their lives. This is the first and (hopefully) only time they will have to go through an experience like this, so everything is new. One of the most important reasons to work with a personal injury lawyer after an accident is because they have extensive experience handling cases like yours and they can advise you every step of the way. This may include whether to settle, sue, or go to trial, how to present your story, and mistakes to avoid.

If you contact a personal injury attorney soon after your injury occurs, they can give you valuable advice from the start. For instance, your attorney might tell you not to admit fault, or advise going to the doctor (if you haven’t already), or recommend not posting about your accident or injury on social media. These seemingly small things can all affect the outcome of your case.

Help You Understand What You May Be Entitled To

Are you entitled to economic damages? Punitive damages? Pain and suffering or loss of consortium? There are many different kinds of compensation available in South Carolina and most people are not familiar with all of them. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand what you might be entitled to based on the circumstances of your case, including some types of damages you might not have known about. This information will be the basis for coming up with an amount to sue or settle for.

Build a Strong Case

Whether your case ultimately ends up settling or going to trial, it’s imperative to have a strong case. A personal injury lawyer will get your side of the story, record witness statements, look at the police report (if any), and gather other evidence as needed. They may work with outside investigators, subject matter experts, accident reconstruction experts and artists, and other professionals to strengthen your case even more. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to build a strong and compelling case in your favor.

Negotiate with Auto Insurance Companies

It’s estimated that just 5% of motor vehicle accidents go to trial while the other 95% are settled out of court. This means that an important part of a personal injury lawyer’s job when representing a client who’s been injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident is to negotiate with auto insurance companies.

It’s no secret that insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible. They may even try to intimidate you, stonewall you, or flat out deny any responsibility. It takes time, effort, and knowledge to reach a fair settlement, and that’s what your attorney will do. A good personal injury lawyer will not accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer (which is invariably low) and will not hesitate to negotiate aggressively on behalf of their client. They understand what evidence to gather and how to present it to the insurance company to negotiate for a higher settlement. Having a personal injury lawyer represent you at this stage can mean a significantly higher settlement amount than if you were to deal with the insurance company on your own.

File a Lawsuit

If you were injured in an accident other than a motor vehicle accident, or you’re not able to reach a fair settlement with the auto insurance company, then you may want to sue. A personal injury attorney will advise on which party or parties to bring suit against, depending on who was at fault for your injury. Then they will file a complaint, which is followed by discovery, where they will continue to gather evidence to build a strong case.

The majority of lawsuits end in a settlement, because going to trial can be expensive and time-consuming for all parties involved. However, sometimes going to trial is necessary to get a fair and just outcome.

Represent You in Court

Although it’s a small percentage of personal injury cases that end up going to trial, having a lawyer represent you in court is invaluable. An established personal injury lawyer knows their local court system and the people in it well, in addition to knowing courtroom procedures, rules of evidence, and so on. They will present a strong case on your behalf in order to hold the responsible party accountable and help you get the compensation you deserve.  

Injured in South Carolina? Call the Personal Injury Attorneys of The Carolina Law Group

As personal injury attorneys with years of experience helping clients get the compensation they’re entitled to, we are prepared to fight for you whether that means settling out of court or going to trial. Our goal is always to help our clients get a fair and just outcome that will help them as they recover from their injury in the short and long term.

We represent people in a variety of personal injury cases, including:

        Motor vehicle accidents (car, motorcycle, tractor-trailer/truck, Uber & Lyft)

        Pedestrian accidents

        Slip and fall accidents

        Nursing home injuries

        Daycare injuries

        Spinal cord injuries

        Brain injuries/TBI

        Dog bites/animal bites

        Wrongful death

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110). 

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only.


Hugh received his BA magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina – Columbia in 2001 and his JD magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina in 2006. Hugh brings with him fifteen years of litigation experience in the Carolinas with a focus on ​trucking collisions, serious motor vehicle collisions, and complex litigation. His clients come to him after experiencing a traumatic and often life-changing event, which he’s able to help them through while pursuing a fair and just outcome in their case.

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