A personal injury can be a life-changing event. The things you were able to do before the accident might prove exceptionally difficult, if not impossible. Your personal injury may even interfere with your ability to earn a living for yourself and your family. Anytime you suffered significant losses as a result of your personal injury, you're entitled to compensation for medical expenses, loss of income and other damages.
An experienced personal injury attorney can fight on your behalf to receive the compensation you deserve. But if you choose to represent yourself in your personal injury claim, there are several disadvantages that could ultimately hamper your case.
1. You'll Have an Uphill Battle Building Your Case
Any seasoned attorney knows that building a personal injury case is no easy feat. Building a solid case relies on more than just documentation outlining your injuries. Attorneys must gather eyewitness accounts, medical statements, police reports and other evidence that clearly proves the other party's fault for your personal injury.
Most attorneys have considerable years of experience building strong cases against insurance companies and other defendants. You won't be able to benefit from this wealth of experience when you're representing yourself. You'll also be responsible for gathering the evidence needed to decisively prove your case. Unfortunately, this is not a skill set that the average pro se plaintiff has under their belt.
2. You'll Underestimate the Scope of Your Damages
Personal injury attorneys typically have an understanding of the types of damages you're entitled to in a personal injury case. Attorneys who specialize in handling these cases know how much certain injuries are worth and what dollar amounts are appropriate for each injury. This knowledge enables them to ask for compensation that best covers your losses.
In stark contrast, most pro se plaintiffs lack the knowledge and experience to demand fair compensation for their case. Achieving a winning judgment or fair settlement also takes confident negotiation in the face of aggressive insurance companies -- a skill that many pro se plaintiffs also lack. It's easy to underestimate the true scope of your damages, which is why it pays to have an injury attorney by your side.
3. You'll Face Significant Legal Opposition
Going up against an insurance company on your own in court is akin to facing a giant armed with only a slingshot. It may take only one well-placed shot to fell a giant, but there's always the danger of being crushed. When you represent yourself, you're going up against a seasoned in-house team of legal experts who specialize in settling personal injury cases such as yours.
Having legal representation of your own can help stack the odds more evenly in your favor. Your personal injury attorney can use his or her considerable experience and legal resources to achieve a successful claim. With an attorney by your side, you won't feel as intimidated when going up against the opposition.
4. Representing Yourself Can Be a Stressful Experience
If you thought being in a severe accident was a stressful experience, just imagine representing yourself in court against a veteran legal team. Pursuing your own personal injury claim is a complex and often stressful process, especially when you have little to no legal experience. It's also hard to focus on healing and recovery when you're tasked with preparing demand letters, filing motions and keeping up with deadlines.
In the aftermath of a serious accident, making your recovery as stress-free as possible should be your primary goal. An experienced personal injury attorney can handle all of the important legwork on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery and the other things that matter to you most. Contact firms like Curiel & Runion, PLC to ask for more advice.