4 Key Differences Between a Personal Injury Lawyer and a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether you’re involved in an accident or accused of a crime, it’s essential to know what type of lawyer you should consult. Not all law enforcement officials follow the same procedures and the nature of your case will impact the process.

To clarify the facts, we reviewed the website of The Hawk Firm, personal injury and criminal defense attorneys, and compiled our findings in this article.

There are four key differences between personal injury attorneys and criminal defense attorneys: the incidents they contest, their roles in the courtroom, their opponents, and their goals.

Personal Injury vs. Criminal Defense: Incidents

Not all lawyers are the same. Each type studies the law and prepares for different sets of scenarios.

As their job title suggests, personal injury lawyers handle incidents involving injured people. Whether the culprit is a negligent driver, a code-breaking workplace, or an aggressive dog, if someone else is at fault and you suffered, you can sue. You will need a personal injury lawyer to help you build your case and get the highest compensation.

Criminal defense attorneys, on the other hand, take on clients accused of crimes. In cases of minor offenses like shoplifting, misdemeanors, or drunk driving without injury or death, a legal professional can reduce the defendant’s sentence. A criminal defense attorney may be able to turn a felony charge into a misdemeanor, saving the client high fees and jail time.

Bodily Injury versus Criminal Defence: Roles of Lawyers

In a personal injury lawsuit, the lawyer’s role is to establish how the client suffered. Accidents cause more than high medical costs. The time a person spends in hospital or unable to work takes a heavy toll on their finances, affecting all aspects of life. Thus, a personal injury specialist must advocate for the physical, mental, monetary and other losses suffered by the client.

After proving that a client suffered, a personal injury lawyer must establish the negligence responsible for the suffering.

In a criminal prosecution, the lawyer debates the governing laws and better defines the client’s situation. A law officer will often detail the nature, daily life and circumstances of the client to mitigate the seriousness of the crime charged. Since many lawyers are representing criminals for the first time, they can often obtain leniency from the court.

Bodily injury versus criminal defence: the opponents

Personal injury and criminal defense lawyers argue against different adversaries inside and outside the courtroom.

A personal injury attorney argues compensation issues against parties such as the client’s workplace or insurance company. To win the most damages, the legal representative must prove that the party was negligent and must receive compensation according to the applicable standards.

Rather than in court, personal injury cases most often end in settlements between an insurance company, a workplace, and a customer.

The adversaries of a criminal defense attorney are the law and the jury. Unlike personal injury cases, criminal defendants usually go to court, where they must try to get a lesser verdict or an innocent plea.

Bodily injury versus criminal defence: objectives

The last difference between the types of avocados concerns the desired results.

The goal of a personal injury attorney is to ensure that the client wins the appropriate damages for their suffering. They cannot neglect mental, monetary and secondary afflictions in the process. Most personal injury cases are settled and do not require a court hearing. As such, the lawyer’s goal is to advocate for a favorable settlement.

A criminal defense attorney’s goal is to either mitigate his client’s charges or prove his innocence. The majority of people charged with crimes are guilty, but many are not. Thus, a criminal defense attorney seeks to reduce the criminal status of the client to a misdemeanor to save him from imprisonment, high fines and other consequences.


Lawyers have different goals, procedures and skills depending on their areas of expertise. Now that you know the differences between these two types of lawyers, you can contact the one that suits your case.

Comments are closed.