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What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury Case Managers and Paralegals?

What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury Case Managers and Paralegals?

A small law firm might consist of one lawyer and one receptionist. A slightly larger law firm might consist of three or four lawyers plus a support staff. Two of the most common roles played by support staff are personal injury case manager and paralegal. These roles are distinct, although, in practice, their duties can overlap.

What Personal Injury Case Managers Do

What is a case manager in a law firm? Put simply, a case manager handles the administrative side of a claim. Settling a personal injury claim is likely to involve a lot of administrative tasks.

Personal injury case managers frequently perform the following tasks:

  • Interviewing clients to gather initial information about the case.
  • Keeping information about each case organized and accessible.
  • Informing clients and other authorized parties (a parent or guardian, for example) about the progress of the case. If a judge schedules a hearing, for instance, the case manager is likely to be the one to inform the client. 
  • Obtaining copies of your medical records. This means records relating to your current injuries as well as past medical records.
  • Acting as a liaison between you, your attorney, and your healthcare provider. If you need to set up a medical lien (to use your future personal injury compensation as collateral for current medical bills), they can help with this. For example, they might draft a Letter of Protection (LOP) for you to present to the hospital.
  • Obtaining your employment records to estimate, document, and prove the amount of your lost earnings.
  • Setting up appointments between you and your attorney.
  • Preparing a settlement demand for your attorney’s review and revision.

Strictly speaking, a personal injury case manager’s tasks are administrative, not legal.  Nevertheless, a small firm might have an attorney case manager, while a larger firm might employ a full-time case manager who is not an attorney. 

What Personal Injury Paralegals Do

Paralegals must receive legal training to qualify for their professions. They are not, however, attorneys. Although their job duties are primarily legal in nature, a lawyer admitted to the state bar must inspect and sign off on their work before it leaves the office. Paralegals work in all different fields of law. In a personal injury law firm, their duties typically consist of the following tasks:

  • Interviewing and screening prospective clients. Some clients have weak claims, for example, while other clients are better suited to work with one lawyer rather than another.
  • Helping the attorney prepare questions for depositions and interrogatories.
  • Preparing witnesses and clients for depositions. This process typically involves a lot of rehearsal, and it can be quite demanding on clients, witnesses, and paralegals.
  • Scheduling travel plans for the attorneys. This is not legal work, but paralegals frequently perform it.
  • Scheduling court hearings, depositions, and other legal proceedings.
  • Reviewing police reports and witness statements. They will report the result of the review to the attorney, typically in writing.
  • Assisting the attorney with all aspects of trial preparation.  
  • Researching legal questions, as directed by an attorney. A paralegal will also prepare legal memos for the attorney, summarizing the results of their research.
  • Performing routine clerical services such as transcription.
  • Keeping up with changes in the law.
  • Engaging in professional development and continuing legal education. Most paralegals specialize to some degree or another.

No shortlist could fully capture everything that a personal injury paralegal ever does. The foregoing list was designed to provide a general idea of a paralegal’s role within a small personal injury law firm.

“Switch-Hitting” Paralegals and Case Managers

Not all law firms delegate the foregoing duties to two separate individuals. A single person may act as a paralegal and personal injury case manager if one person meets the qualifications for both positions. 

Do You Need To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Do you need a lawyer for your claim? You might not even know. If you’re not sure, your best bet is to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Don’t worry about money. Personal injury lawyers work on the contingency fee system, which means you only pay if you get compensation.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Miami, FL

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Miami, FL and need legal help, contact our Miami personal injury lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers
20900 NE 30th Ave Suite 715
Aventura, FL 33180
(305) 937-0191