“Why do I need an attorney to represent me in my personal injury case? Can’t I just do it myself?”
This is the first question I hear from clients when they come into my office.
And every time I hear that question, I reply,
“You can try.”
The truth is you have the right to represent yourself in your personal injury case. That right is guaranteed to you through the Constitution. However, in many cases, representing yourself is not the best route for a few reasons.
1. You’re not an attorney
Arguably the most important reason, you are not an attorney. If you are injured in an accident, the insurance companies will employ attorneys to review your case. They have an army of lawyers dedicating to finding ways to lower the value of your case. If you do not have an attorney on your team, you will be severely overmatched. Truly, it just is not a fair fight.
2. Confusing paperwork and complex legal ramifications
Insurance companies will bombard you with confusing paperwork and you will be expected to understand, execute, and comply with all of it. If you do not understand, execute, and comply with the confusing paperwork, it can have serious legal ramifications. If you are representing yourself, there will not be a “mulligan”. You will be held to the same standard as an attorney. If you miss an important deadline, that could dramatically lower the value of your case and/or dismiss your claim entirely!
3. Fall victim to insurance company traps
A standard practice by insurance companies is to offer injured victims a settlement offer immediately after the accident. You are at your weakest and most vulnerable at this time, so the insurance companies make an offer hoping you will take it when you need the money the most.
However, while it may seem like they’re helping you out, their true intentions are not in your best interest. They are offering you a settlement value, in many circumstances, far below the actual value of your case with the hope that you will just settle quickly.
For example, your case value may be worth somewhere between $10,000-$12,000 dollars, but immediately after the accident, the insurance company will offer you $3,000. Now, obviously, it is difficult to walk away from the $3,000 when you need the money. But, if your case is worth $12,000, you should not be settling it for $3,000. With an experienced attorney on your team, you can prevent settling for less than your case is worth.
If you have been injured in an accident and need a team member on your side, call King & Huffines: Attorneys at Law PLLC at 724-242-0230. We would be happy to review your case and help you make the decision that is right for you.
Disclaimer: None of the above information is to be interpreted as legal advice. This advice does not in any way create an attorney-client relationship