Whether you’ve been severely injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or another type of accident, you might wonder if you should handle your own personal injury claim. After all, what could go wrong?
Actually, quite a lot. But most importantly, if you take on your own case, you may not end up receiving the amount of compensation that you deserve.
Here are a few important reasons you shouldn’t handle your own personal injury claim.
Putting a Case Together Properly Requires Legal Skills and Knowledge
Personal injury lawyers put years of work into developing their skills and learning their craft. A lawyer will know what kind of evidence you need in your case to prove liability and how to investigate your claim.
Additionally, although you may have gathered evidence, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s admissible in court. There are many court procedures and rules that must be followed in a personal injury action that a pro se plaintiff wouldn’t necessarily be aware of.
It’s essential to understand that personal injury law is both an art and a science — and a claim needs to be built strategically. A good lawyer will know how to ensure your case is as strong as possible to hold the party responsible for your injuries accountable.
Handling a Personal Injury Case Requires Knowledge of the Relevant Laws
Your personal injury case is too important to leave up to the results of a Google search. Personal injury actions involve many nuanced laws that can vary, depending on the municipality in which the accident took place. Also, there are specific statutes of limitation applicable to each lawsuit — one mistake in calculating the deadline and your claim can be tossed out.
Building a Personal Injury Case Can Be Time-Consuming
Handling a personal injury lawsuit can be a full-time job, and there are many factors involved in preparing a case. Collecting documentation, photographs, video footage, medical records, statements, and other forms of evidence can take up an enormous amount of time — and require a considerable amount of resources that only a good personal injury lawyer will have.
By hiring an attorney for your case, you can have peace of mind and focus on healing your injuries while they pursue compensation on your behalf.
You Likely Won’t Receive Maximum Compensation by Handling Your Own Case
You may think you’ll receive more money for your claim if you don’t have to pay attorneys’ fees from your settlement. However, if you take on your own case, you’ll almost certainly end up losing money instead. Even after attorneys’ fees are paid, you’ll likely end up with far more compensation than you would have if you proceeded pro se.
Importantly, no matter how severe your injuries are, the insurance company will try to pay out as little as possible on your claim — and will try to get you to settle at the lowest possible offer. Since insurance companies often respond more favorably to attorneys than to pro se plaintiffs, working with legal counsel who knows the tactics that claims adjusters use can help you secure the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
It Can Be Difficult to Be Objective About Your Own Case
Being an accident victim can be traumatic, and you might be experiencing a wide range of emotions. It can be difficult for plaintiffs to put their feelings about the case aside and objectively focus on the facts necessary to establish liability and prove damages. A personal injury lawyer can provide an objective perspective while effectively and zealously fighting for your rights.
Contact an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorney
Don’t make the mistake of trying to represent yourself in your personal injury case. It’s best to hire an experienced lawyer from the very beginning to avoid potential pitfalls and mistakes that could affect your right to compensation by trying to handle a lawsuit on your own. Our firm has obtained settlements and jury verdicts in the millions for accident victims, even in some of the most challenging cases.
The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims and injured workers to ensure they get the maximum compensation they deserve. Located in Manhattan, we have been handling personal injury cases throughout New York City since 1937. Call to schedule a free consultation at (212) 425-1999 today.