After being hurt in an accident, you may wonder, “Why do I need a personal injury lawyer?” A lot of people have the do-it-yourself mentality. While this is perfectly normal when fixing something around your house, representing yourself in court or during compensation negotiations is a very different matter.
The legal system is complicated and can be extremely intimidating. What you don’t know can cause you to lose your case—especially since the other party is certainly going to take advantage of this. Hiring an attorney is the best way for you to get the most compensation possible and have a successful outcome to your claim.
The Court System Is Hard to Navigate
The court system was designed for lawyers and legal professionals—not for the general citizenry. It’s not that you couldn’t figure it out in time, but that there is a set process that is required whenever filing a lawsuit or going to court. Certain papers need to be filed on certain days, and the procedure must be performed with precision. Otherwise, the other side can have the case dismissed based on technicalities.
Things like filing before the statute of limitations expires and completing service correctly are critical for any case, but that’s not something that the average person would know. While court clerks are certainly friendly, they don’t have time to explain the process in detail and typically won’t. In this situation, anyone who is self-represented is at a serious disadvantage.
You’ll Be Against an Opposing Attorney
As long as the other party is insured, it’s all but guaranteed that they will have an attorney of their own. The insurance company is required to provide a defense, so this is a given. Even someone without a lot of money is going to have experienced legal counsel. Their attorney will take advantage of your lack of knowledge and may try to do any of the following:
- Blame you for the accident
- Give you a lowball offer during settlement negotiations
- Refuse to pay you anything
Without your own attorney, you are essentially at the mercy of how the opposing attorneys handle the case. Don’t make the mistake of trusting them because their loyalty is to their client (the insurance company) and not to you.
You Can Get More Money with an Attorney
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the most money for your injury claim. First, your own attorney will not let you be taken advantage of or bullied by the other side. Second, your attorney will know how to work through the court process to ensure everything is done correctly.
With an attorney on your side, your case can proceed to trial which will give you the opportunity to collect compensation for all of the damages that you are owed:
- Economic damages to pay for tangible expenses like medical bills and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages to give you money for pain and suffering and how your life has been negatively impacted.
- Punitive damages designed to punish the other party for actions of malice or gross negligence.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Put simply, you need someone to protect your legal rights, stand up to the other attorney, and help you get the money you deserve for your injuries.