Personal injuries can cause several accidental incidents that may lead to severe catastrophes. In such incidents, you ask for compensation from the negligent party. When the negligent party does not agree with your claim, you file a personal injury case.
However, the question comes- can I handle my injury case myself? The simplest answer to the question is yes; you certainly can. But there are many things to consider before and after deciding to represent yourself. This article will cover everything related to handling the personal injury case yourself.
When to Represent Yourself in Personal Injury Cases
You have been involved in an unfortunate accident. Now, you intend to file a compensation claim. Moreover, you are considering representing yourself in the personal injury case. Here are some factors that can help you in deciding when to handle your own case.
If the case is relatively smaller
When a personal injury settlement initiates in court, the situation starts to get very complex and tricky. This is true for most cases, especially when the money involved is more than $20,000. Anything less than that amount can be called a “smaller” case. These smaller cases can be somewhat manageable by individuals without the assistance of a lawyer.
However, if the amount is much larger than $20,000, you may end up losing too much money in the process of handling the case on your own. Therefore, it is wiser to represent yourself when the case amount is below $20,000.
If the damages and liabilities are uncomplicated
First of all, liabilities mean that the case is straightforward. There is no disagreement or investigation on when and how the accident happened, who is at fault, and how the fault can be proven. In situations like this, it is simple to prove the case in your favor in the court.
Furthermore, if the damages such as personal injuries, pain and sufferings, and other property damages are simple, the case gets easier. You can choose to represent yourself and win the compensation claim through simple evidence and facts in such scenarios.
If you are comfortable with the legal works
The decision on this part depends completely on you. If you are considering handling your own personal injury case, you have to be prepared to deal with the legal works.
This involves generating evidence, showing up in the court, presenting your argument in front of the judges and juries, contacting eyewitnesses, or gathering all the records available on the incident. If you do not mind doing all these works, go ahead and fight for your own case.
Ways to Decide Representing Yourself in Personal Injury Cases
You have already understood that it is possible to represent yourself in personal injury cases. Moreover, you have also figured out when to consider handling your own case. Here are some ways to decide whether you should handle your own case or attain lawyer support.
The extent of your injuries
The first thing to look into is how badly you have been hurt and damaged by accident. This goes two ways. Firstly, if your injuries are severe, you may want to rest and recover with proper medical care. In such a situation, winning the case is the best possible option through a personal injury lawyer.
Secondly, if your injuries are not severe, but the mental and emotional distress you went through from the incident is severe, you should not consider handling it independently. Instead, you should do other recreational stuff while your lawyer handles the issue.
Is the negligent party clearly at fault?
When a case is straightforward, both you and the other party involved in the accident know who is at fault. In such cases, it is fine and simple to represent yourself. However, if the party at fault is not imminent, you may want to rethink your decision to handle the personal injury case.
Can you provide complete effort and dedication?
You have just come out of a serious accident. You are trying to recover from the injuries and damages of the incident. Are you sure you are ready to give so much effort now in getting the compensation all on your own? If there is doubt, think it through and then decide the best option.
Talk to your insurance company
Considering you have completely recovered from any injury of the accident, consult with your insurance company before deciding on representing yourself.
If your insurance company has accepted full liability for the damages, the only remaining thing is settling on the negligent party’s compensation. You can easily go and handle the case by yourself.
The Benefits of Handling Personal Injury Case Yourself
If your decision is strong on representing yourself, here are some benefits of doing that.
The process is complicated but structured
The overall process of completing a court action of compensation claims can be tricky at times. However, the steps are well-structured. Therefore, it is not necessarily a thing to understand only by lawyers. You can easily understand everything and proceed with the case on your own.
The process can be quite simple as well
It is not like you have to know the technical terms to compete with other lawyers in personal injury cases. If your compensation claim is small, the process can be really easy if you are willing to put some effort. You may even win your claim if you are determined and display some commonsense.
Only you have your best interest
Some of the best things to understand while settling on a compensation claim are best known only by you. The incident, the damage, your injuries, and other aspects of the accident is to the best of your knowledge. As a result, you can focus on your benefits and settlement options when you handle your own case.
Save money on legal costs and fees
One of the obvious features of handling your own case is that you save money on legal charges. And the amount is certainly not small. The lawyer charges and other hidden costs are huge. When you represent yourself, you are saving a huge chunk of money that can be used to recover from the damages.
Risks of Handling Your Own Personal Injury Lawsuit
Despite the advantages, there are some risks in doing legal works yourself.
Missing legal requirements
You may end up making too many errors, and your case may get delayed. There are certain rules in Canada in completing the case within a deadline. Thus, you may miss important requirements.
Losing the compensation
If the case is tricky, and you still decided to represent yourself, you may lose the case. Besides, many extra charges may go out of your pocket.
Since you do not have prior legal experience, court works may seem complicated to you. Moreover, you may lack the capability to plan a suitable strategy in support of your case.
Once you lack the strategical planning of your case, you may end up presenting an unrealistic argument through unnecessary or poor evidence in the court.
Some Essential Tips to Win Personal Injury Cases
Here are some first-time tips for you to have a better chance at winning the case
- Always make sure to take pictures of the scene of the incident and physical injuries.
- Keep a copy of the police report of the accident with you as soon as you can.
- Keep copies of all the bills, including damage recovery, medical bills, and insurance coverage.
- Make sure not to talk or provide any statement to the other party.
- Do not forget about any future damages you may come across to put in the compensation claim.
- Build your case accordingly with lots of research and prior strategies from previous similar cases.
- Finally, stay away from social media and posting anything related to your case in the virtual world.
The complexity of personal injury cases depends on the severity of the accident. Given that your claim is simple, straightforward, and achievable, you can handle the case yourself. Make sure to follow the tips and proper strategies in fighting for your own case. However, if you can not do it, hire a professional lawyer immediately.