A personal injury is a type of tort (wrongful action) that covers injuries resulting from car accidents, medical mishaps, and a wide range of other causes. Importantly, personal injury law can encompass accidents and injuries that cause clients physical or emotional harm.
Whether you’re that hungry new trial lawyer learning how to start a personal injury practice and are in search of a career springboard, or an ambitious veteran attorney feeling stuck and looking for a change, you might be curious about the best places to find plaintiffs in need of personal injury attorneys.
In this short guide, we’ll cover the three best states to practice personal injury law from coast to coast and how a legal call center can help. Let’s dive in.
A personal injury lawyer is trained to handle cases that inhere on a variety of injuries and incidents, including:
- Physical damage requiring medical intervention – From slip-and-fall incidents to car accidents, people can suffer a variety of injuries. They can also seek recompense from the responsible parties with the help of an attorney.
- Negligence – Medical malpractice and employer carelessness can both cause physical damage, not to mention emotional distress. The psychiatric realm of personal injury is also fair game in personal injury law.
- Occupational diseases – These can occur in certain workers more frequently than they do among the general population, e.g., asbestosis in shipbuilders.
So, what makes Massachusetts the foremost state for practicing this type of law and getting personal injury clients?
Massachusetts is famous for a number of historical firsts—and it’s also the U.S. state with the #1 highest medical malpractice payout (albeit in a five-way-tie with Alaska, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota—other states to put on your radar as a personal injury attorney).
- Over a quarter of a million people die of medical malpractice each year, making it the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
- Massachusetts is known for its highly advanced, cutting-edge hospital system. This means that malpractice suits are frequent.
It isn’t just wrongful death that contributes to malpractice suits. Pain and suffering are major drivers of medical torts, and these can be subtle. The National Institute of Health recognizes what it calls “thin skull” injuries, which may not be physiological: “with a thin skull (egg shell) personality or psyche, a seemingly minor injury may trigger in [injured] persons a major psychological problem.”
An attorney with medical tort law experience and a stoic attitude could thrive in the Puritan State.
Have expertise in another area like motor vehicle accidents? Keep in mind that Massachusetts has the nation’s lowest percentage of uninsured drivers—less than 4%. But attorneys take note: better insurance means higher settlement payouts.
Florida is known for its well-maintained and extensive highway system. It’s a great road trip state, which means that there are many, many drivers on the road. And 23% of those drivers are uninsured.
That’s right—nearly a quarter of Florida drivers have no auto insurance.
This puts the state in stark contrast with Massachusetts. And in addition to the high number of uninsured drivers, millions are carrying the state’s minimum auto insurance, which doesn’t cover injuries to another driver or their passengers in an at-fault accident.
- Florida only requires Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which can help cover the cost of a driver’s own injuries.
- Liability insurance—designed to cover another party’s injuries— is strictly voluntary, befitting a liberty- and play-minded state. However, this means that injured drivers whose costs exceed those covered by their PIP will need to seek financial compensation for loss or harm more often than they would in, say, Massachusetts.
- Helmet laws are also loose, resulting in further potential injuries to motorcyclists (and a personal injury case).
Already the nation’s third most populous state, Florida’s population continues to grow as many snowbirds find themselves sick of hard winters. Older populations tend to slip and fall more frequently than younger, healthier demographics, requiring additional advocacy from personal injury attorneys.
Enjoy the sunshine in Florida—you’re unlikely to have to scramble to find work as a personal injury attorney.
#3 North Dakota
North Dakota is the third least populated in the United States, despite being 19th in size. Perhaps because of this mismatch between population and geographic area, it has the country’s longest statute of limitations for a personal injury claim at six years.
In previous years, it also led the nation in the number of car crash injuries and deaths.
Cold weather conditions are major drivers of a motor vehicle accident—and North Dakota, which has some of the coldest winters in the continental United States, bears this out. The cold-weather holiday season sees an especially high number of automobile-related injuries due in part to increased alcohol consumption, elevated depression, and mass travel events.
Practicing law in an underpopulated state with a high occurrence of severe injury and wrongful death could be an attractive option for a personal injury lawyer looking to make a move.
Connect With Local Clients with Alert
Practicing personal injury law in North Dakota, Florida, or Massachusetts can be lucrative. But moving close to an ample client base is only the first step in your success as a trial lawyer.
Next, you’ll need a strategy for connecting with your clients 24/7. Any time you miss a call, there’s a risk your prospective plaintiff will dial another accident lawyer or personal injury firm.
Alert’s answering service can field calls in a professional, courteous manner so that you and your team can move forward with what you do best.
So get on that plane, train, or highway and get to the work that works best for you with help from Alert.
Becker Hospital Review. 5 states with the highest medical malpractice payouts. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/rankings-and-ratings/5-states-with-the-highest-medical-malpractice-payouts.html
EJR. On matters of causation in personal injury cases: Considerations in forensic examination. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5042245/