Self-Representation Vs. Getting A Lawyer: Simple Doesn't Mean Self Is Best

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People who have been injured in an accident are often in financial dire straits by the time they get to lawsuit stage because an insurance company won't pay out, or it won't pay out enough. In order to save money, those people often look at representing themselves, especially if the case seems simple. However, a simple case is not necessarily one where you should represent yourself. In fact, it's the simple cases that have the most potential to trip you up.

That Other Party Will Most Likely Have a Lawyer

Chances are the other party, be it a person or an insurance company, will have a lawyer on their side, and that lawyer is not going to want you to win. Trying to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit against full-fledged legal representation is pretty much a formula for disaster for you. Rather than worry about whether you've covered all your bases and aren't going to be surprised by any odd legal precedents, you need to have a lawyer representing you.

Your Debating Skills Might Not Be as Complete as You Think

You can have the most airtight case, but if you can't pull off a good legal performance in court, you could forget to present information or be caught off-guard by the other party's attempt to bring up technicalities. You may also be too emotionally involved to get your full story across, relying more on emotion than law or assuming people will see your logic when you really need to add more information to your explanations. Your legal representative is on your side, but he or she will be detached enough from the emotion of the case to concentrate on the facts.

If Your State Forces You to Sue

It's a bizarre thought, but your own insurance company might require that you sue someone you would normally have no intention of suing. Some states, such as Tennessee and Connecticut, have laws that require a suit be filed before insurance pays out for injuries caused by someone else. This was the reason a 54-year-old woman sued her young nephew for causing her to break her wrist during an "exuberant" hug, and the reason singer Barbara Mandrell had to sue the survivors of the young man who hit her car (he died). There is a lot of emotional damage control that goes along with these cases (Mandrell's reputation was in tatters for years, even though she was merely following state law), and a lawyer can help you maneuver through that sticky situation.

You are always better off getting a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case. Many offer payment plans as well as contingent fees that take the lawyer fees out of the award you eventually get. Contact a personal injury lawyer now to start working on your case.