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This article is from Dana Ahern, a personal injury attorney w/Farar & Lewis LLP. This article is about how, or if, you should resolve your case without the services of a personal injury law firm at your side. You may assume that you can only file and pursue a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an attorney. However, there may be circumstances in which you can represent yourself and still get a favorable resolution. When may it actually be worth your while to act as your own attorney, and when may it be preferable to have the assistance of an experienced legal counsel on your side.
Is it Obvious That the Other Side Is Guilty?
In cases when it is obvious that the other side is guilty of acting in a manner that caused your injuries, it may be better to act as your own legal counsel. There is a good chance that you will get all or most of the compensation that you are entitled to while actually saving money on legal fees in the process.
How Aggressively Is the Other Side Defending Their Interests?
If your settlement offer is considered to be an affordable cost of doing business, even a large company or large insurance company will agree to your settlement offer. However, if acquiescing to your demands could create an unfavorable precedent, the other side may aggressive move to defend their interests. In such a scenario, it is worthwhile to consult with an attorney who can match your opponent’s intensity.
How Well Can You Articulate Your Case?
Those who are able to research applicable legal statutes and understand how to apply them to their cases may wish to represent themselves. However, if you aren’t sure why the person who hurt you is responsible for your injuries, it is in your best interest to find someone who can. Legal counsel will be able to craft a demand letter stating why the other party is at fault and what types of compensation that you are seeking from that party.
How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Your Case?
While you may be interested in settling your case for as little money spent as possible, your time is also valuable. Personal injury cases involve a lot of time and energy researching legal precedents, talking to witnesses or sitting through negotiation talks. An actual trial could last months or years before there is any resolution. If you have been significantly hurt in an accident, you may not have the physical or mental stamina to represent yourself at a high enough level to get a favorable settlement.
Don’t Let Money Get in the Way of a Proper Resolution to Your Case
It is important to stress that a personal injury attorney won’t get paid until you win your case. This allows you to focus solely on your recovery and otherwise getting your life back together. Furthermore, your physician or other care providers may also allow you to wait until your case is settled before you have to pay. In most cases, a settlement or jury award will cover attorney and court costs as well as medical bills already incurred. Therefore, you may be able to win more money or at least come out in a similar financial position after your case whether or not you represent yourself.
In many ways, a personal injury attorney can be a valuable asset when pursuing legal action against someone who can afford to pay for their own attorneys. Legal counsel is also beneficial for those who don’t have the time or desire to represent themselves. While it may seem smart from a financial standpoint to forego hiring an attorney to resolve your case, having an attorney may increase the odds that you win your case and get all the compensation that you are entitled to.