Many people lack knowledge about how an attorney can help you in a case and what benefits they can bring to an unfortunate situation. Similarly, people often lack knowledge about whether it is appropriate to file a claim or lawsuit without a lawyer. People often have viable bases for a lawsuit but as they are unsure if they can file a claim themselves, and are concerned about attorney fees, they don’t follow through. This means that the situation can often go unaddressed and you may not be compensated in the way you deserve. We want to help you look at the benefits and risks associated with hiring a lawyer versus handling personal injury cases on your own.
Handling a Case on Your Own Can be Done, but Should be Carefully Considered
If you absolutely feel the need to represent yourself in a case, it can be done. However, it is not advised as there are many risks associated and it is less likely that you will get the outcome you hoped for. It can be perceived as more efficient to represent yourself in a case if you weren’t hurt badly or didn’t lose much in terms of property damage but, taking on any case - big or small - is time consuming, often overwhelming and can be detrimental to the final outcome. If you are considering representing yourself, you need to be extremely comfortable advocating for yourself and, even more so, when things become contentious and complex during trial - which will often happen.
Hiring an Attorney is Ideal in Order to Get the Best Outcome
Generally, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. Attorney’s are experts in their field. They understand the legal system, they know how to approach your lawsuit in order to get the best outcome and they are there to help you, while taking lots of stress and work off your plate. As specialists in this field, hiring a lawyer is usually the best option if you want to be compensated as you deserve. Certain injury cases like medical malpractice, disabling or permanent injuries, or injury from defective product cases should definitely not be taken on by yourself. These are complex, detailed cases and need professional expertise to gather information appropriately and fight for you in a court of law.
People are often concerned about the fees associated with hiring a lawyer, but as an attorney understands the legal system and knows various lawsuits like the back of their hand, you are likely to be compensated properly, therefore have the ability to easily cover lawyer fees. Attorney fees are often more reasonable than one may assume, so it is in your best interest to engage a lawyer for an initial conversation in order to get an understanding of the process and the costs before making a rash decision to represent yourself.
Here are some of the risks associated with handling your own personal injury case:
- You have to deal with the other party’s insurance company and lawyers on your own, meaning they might not take you as seriously as if you had a lawyer to represent you.
- You are liaising with insurance claims personnel who are highly experienced and trained to protect the insurance company’s profits.
- Personnel from insurance company’s will often try to exploit your lack of knowledge for the process in order to avoid paying a claim.
- Lack of experience means you may not know how to identify all necessary parties, which may be detrimental to your case.
- The insurance company will likely offer a lower settlement because they do not perceive that individuals who lack legal representation are serious about taking them to court.
- You may accidentally say something that an insurance company will use against you to deny or minimize your claim.
- You may not know the types of evidence needed to support your claim or how to go about collecting the evidence if you handle your own case.
- An initial settlement offer from an insurance company may sound like a lot of money, but actually be far less than the fair value of the case based on your future medical bills and income losses related to the injury. If you represent yourself, you are less familiar with this situation and could put yourself in a bad position, long term.
- Handling your own case adds exceptional amounts of stress, when often the person needs to be focusing on their health and recovery.
After an injury, your priority should be regaining your health and enjoyment of life. Let the personal injury attorneys at Barfoot & Schoettker provide trusted legal guidance and fight hard to obtain the full compensation that you will need to move forward after a serious accident.The most common types of personal injury claims are car accidents, slip and falls, assault claims and other negligent acts. If you have suffered a personal injury, it is vital that you contact us as soon as possible via our contact form or at (334) 834-3444.