If you have been injured in an accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. Hiring an attorney who is willing to represent your case may seem overwhelming. Because of this, you might be tempted to represent yourself in court.
While it may seem like a good idea to save money by representing yourself in court, there are several dangers associated with representing yourself. In some cases, these dangers may outweigh the benefits of going alone.
If you decide to represent yourself, here are some risks you should be aware of:
The Evidence You Present May Not Be Admissible
If you represent yourself, you will have to collect all the evidence you need for your case. This includes police reports, medical records, and accident scene photographs. Unfortunately, many of these documents might not be admissible in court because they were collected by someone untrained to do so. If this happens, then the judge may dismiss your case because they do not trust the evidence was collected properly.
An attorney can help present your evidence to the court in a way that makes it permissible. In addition, they will be able to assist you with collecting or getting some evidence. For example, if witnesses to the accident saw what happened but does not speak English very well, an attorney could help translate what they said and present their testimony in court. For example, if witnesses to the accident don’t speak English, an attorney can help translate or provide a translator so they can share what they witnessed. This can prove to be valuable in court.
A lawyer can also help you to investigate the case properly and find out what evidence is available. For example, if there was video footage of the accident, an attorney could examine it to strengthen your case.
Need More Time To Prepare For Trial
If you represent yourself in court, prepare for a long journey ahead. You will have to spend time preparing for the trial and ensure everything is prepared properly. This means that every step must be taken seriously and carefully considered before moving forward with your case. If you are not careful, this may lead to mistakes that could cost you the case.
If you have an attorney, they will handle these responsibilities for you and ensure everything is done correctly. A personal injury attorney understands how the legal system works and can help you navigate through the process so that you are not in it alone. They will be there to support you and provide proper guidance whenever necessary.
You May Be Up Against a Very Experienced Attorney
You might be up against an attorney with years of experience handling cases like yours. This can work against you since the lawyer is skilled at cross-examination and knows how to use the judge and jury against you. The attorney may also have access to resources that aren’t available to you, such as experts who can testify against you.
But if you have a professional attorney by your side who also has years of experience, you may be able to counter these disadvantages. The attorney can anticipate your opponent’s strategies and help prepare you for them. If a witness’s testimony is damaging, the attorney can ensure that it doesn’t go unchallenged.
In addition, an attorney knows how to negotiate with the other side and may be able to settle your case before it goes to trial. The attorney can also help you negotiate a favorable settlement for both sides, rather than leaving all decisions to the judge and jury.
You May Receive Little to No Compensation
Because you’re not trained in law or legal procedures, your case may suffer because of mistakes. For example, suppose you don’t know how to present evidence at trial or properly question witnesses on cross-examination. This could lead to little to no compensation for your injuries and damages.
An experienced attorney fights your case to ensure the insurance company doesn’t try to lowball you with an unfair settlement offer. This is a common tactic used by insurance companies and can be very frustrating when you feel like the settlement offered is unjust. Your lawyer will fight on your behalf and ensure you get what you deserve no matter the other side’s tactics.
In addition to ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve, an attorney will also ensure that you don’t have to pay any upfront fees. Instead, they work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case. This can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees and court costs if it turns out that your case is unsuccessful.
Feller & Wendt Will Fight to Protect Your Legal Rights
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at the fault of another, Feller & Wendt, LLC is here to help. Our attorneys have decades of experience and are dedicated to providing you with the highest level of legal representation. We know how to build a strong case and fight for justice on your behalf. We’ll be there for you during every step of the legal process, from filing your lawsuit to negotiating a settlement or defending against criminal charges. No matter what type of personal injury case you have, we can help.
We will discuss your case and help you determine if an appeal is appropriate. If you decide to proceed with an appeal, we will work with you to develop a plan and prepare your case. We then argue the appeal before the court of appeals. If necessary, we also represent clients in post-conviction appeals. Call us at (801) 499-5060 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.