A lot of people prefer handling their business their own way. Some people might even apply this to their legal affairs. When it comes to personal injury cases, however, handling the case on your own might be a tough thing to do, especially that the process requires a lot of effort in collecting evidence, calculating how much damages you need, and recovering from the injury in the first place. That’s why many people save themselves the time and energy and opt to hire a professional attorney to handle the case for them.
But if handling a personal injury case is a tempting notion for you, continue reading to find out whether or not you can do it.
Can You Represent Yourself?
Handling a personal injury case really boils down to your ability to represent yourself in court. This, of course, will require a degree of knowledge in regards to court etiquette and processes, especially that these factors might differ according to the state you live in. If your injury is a minor one, you might not need to go to court at all. In fact, if these following points can apply to your situation, you can reach a settlement in no time.
Minor Injury Recovery
Minor injuries include bruises, whiplash, minor cuts, or muscle or tendon sprains. Depending on the severity of your injury, you will need a recovery period (a few days or weeks) after which you can proceed with the personal injury settlement. If both you and your doctor can confirm that you are well enough to handle settling your personal injury, then you can proceed. Personal injuries, no matter how minor they are, can affect your health, which might prevent you from seeing to the proceedings of the settlement properly.
Time and Energy
Personal injury claims will consume a lot of your time. If you don’t have the time for it, you might want to hire professional help. Moreover, if you haven’t fully recovered, time, energy, and other life concerns, like your job, for example, will prevent you from reaching a settlement with adequate compensation. Make sure that you have enough time to compile all relevant documents, medical records, and police reports, witness testimonies, etc. Also, you will have to work on your negotiation skills, as you’ll have to negotiate with different parties, like the insurance adjuster, for example.
Make sure that the insurance company has accepted the full liability for your injuries and that you’ve made full recovery. It is also important that the insurance company offers this full liability in writing. This can be altered by claims of the other party. If the one responsible for your injury gives a false story of what happened, your chances of getting full liability will dim.
Who Is in the Wrong?
If you’re going to file for a personal injury claim, you should be able to prove that the defendant is 100% at fault. The personal injury lawyers at https://adamsoncleveland.com/ say that reaching a personal injury settlement can’t be achieved on your own without solid proof to prove the defendant guilty. For example, if there are witnesses that can prove that the defendant was the one responsible for your injuries, reaching a settlement won’t be difficult. However, if the circumstances surrounding the cause of your injury aren’t exactly clear, expect a strong defense from the other party. In some cases, the defense will even try to hold the plaintiff responsible for his injuries due to negligence. For example, you are responsible for your injuries because you were driving the car while talking on the phone or driving too fast. In these cases, reaching a settlement without a lawyer might prove to be a bit difficult.
No matter how minor your injury is, it is imperative that you start gathering evidence as soon as possible. You need to have photographs of the scene if possible and medical records to prove that you were injured and that the defendant is at fault. A copy of the police reports will also come in handy. As for lost wages, you can ask your employer for a written statement, which should include the number of sick days you used while recovering and lost over time. Depending on your schedule and health, you won’t face problems gathering that evidence. If the evidence is not corroborating enough, that’s when professional help should come in.
Reaching a personal injury settlement without the aid of a competent lawyer is possible but only in the right circumstances. One main factor that can make reaching a settlement a lot easier is irrefutable evidence that proves the guilt of the other party. However, if you don’t have enough evidence, time, or energy to spare, it would be wiser to hire an attorney.