Personal injury: should I represent myself?

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There is a commonly held belief that representing yourself in court is a fast-track way to keep 100% of your personal injury compensation payout. The belief is that where you are on the right side of the law, there is little point in procuring the services of someone who will do very little and take a portion of your compensation in payment. 

This is a bit like assuming you would be fine to perform your own surgery and avoid the medical bills. For more information, speak to a lawyer (check out a personal injury lawyer in Manassas, for example). For now, let’s look at why you shouldn’t attempt to represent yourself.

Knowing how to value your claim

Surface information can be a dangerous thing. Once you are armed with facts such as ‘each case is taken on its own merits’ and ‘compensation rewards may be revised upwards from standard payouts in relation to mitigating circumstances’, there is every chance that your mind could run away with you and you may start to believe that you could represent yourself in court and push for a large payout. 

Here’s the thing. That scenario is entirely possible. But so is winning the lottery while juggling live squirrels and tightrope walking between two hot air balloons in a storm. Just because something is possible doesn’t mean sensible people should attempt it. Lawyers spend years developing an understanding of their craft. They know how to value your case, to secure a reasonable outcome that will be agreed by all sides, expediting successes. By attempting to represent yourself, you may get the valuation of your claim all wrong, slowing the process down and increasing overall fees over a longer period (e.g. court fees). 

Knowing when your claim is being undervalued 

The knowledge your lawyer will be able to supply works both ways in terms of knowing when a claim is overvalued and knowing when a claim is undervalued. Most often, a valuation may be too low where all pertinent circumstances have not been taken into full consideration. Mitigating circumstances that could increase the value of a claim could include expenses such as medical bills and lost earnings. Where an untrained individual does not make allowances for these costs, they cannot be reclaimed. 

This is perhaps where the true value of a personal injury lawyer comes into play. If you require changes to your home following an injury, or if you are unable to provide care to a dependent and are now having to outsource that care at great expense, the lawyer will be able to ensure that all of this is reflected in the process – and they may be able to point out examples of costs that you had not considered, leading you to a better outcome.

LisaLisa

Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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