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Morton Law Offices, Chartered

Reasons You DON’T Want to Represent Yourself in Your Personal Injury Case

If you were injured in a car, slip and fall, or workplace accident, you may be as worried about your finances as your health. You could have no wages coming in for the weeks or months you are off work healing and your medical treatment could be expensive. You may not feel you can afford to hire an attorney to negotiate a settlement for you or you may simply want to save money by going it alone. However, do not make this mistake that will cost you more in the long run.

Why You Will Get Less Compensation If You Represent Yourself

People who represent themselves in personal injury cases are often tricked into believing their claim is weaker than it is and that they are obtaining a good settlement when they are not. Some reasons you do not want to represent yourself include:

  • You do not have the experience to know if a claim is worth pursuing. Because you have no expertise handling these kinds of cases, you will not know whether it is worth pursuing your case. You could believe that a “minor” whiplash injury is a waste of time and then experience months of pain which would have entitled you to a substantial settlement.
  • You will have to do a lot of paperwork. You will need to go through a lot of paperwork filled with legal and medical terms you probably will not understand. You could easily sign documents—like a blanket medical release authorizing the insurance company to obtain ALL of your medical records—that is not in your interest to sign. In addition, if you must file a lawsuit, you would need to figure out the correct legal documents to file and do so in the format required by the court—not an easy task.
  • You do not have an investigative team at your disposal. In many personal injury cases, an injured victim will need to hire experts, such as a doctor, accident reconstruction expert, or other professional to help prove various aspects of his case. An experienced personal injury attorney will have a team of experts to help with these technical issues. You most likely would not even know where to turn for this expert advice—with the result being that you receive a much less favorable settlement.
  • You have no understanding of the worth of your case. Since this is probably your first—and hopefully only—time being involved in an accident, you do not have an attorney's experience in understanding how much a case like yours is really worth. While you may be able reject the insurance adjuster’s first offer and make a counteroffer, you will have no idea whether the insurance adjuster is offering you a fair settlement or a low one—which is usually the case.
  • You have no experience negotiating a settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how insurance companies work and may have already worked with the insurance adjuster or attorney representing the insurance company. His expertise and personal relationships with the opposing parties can be extremely beneficial in working out a more favorable settlement—an advantage you would not have on your own.

If you need to negotiate a personal injury settlement, you need an experienced attorney on your side. I have been helping people like you for over 34 years obtain the compensation they deserve. Call me at 888.716.8021 to schedule a free consultation to learn how I can assist you.