You Can Represent Yourself, But you Really Shouldn’t
It’s human nature to believe we can do whatever we set our minds to, and in many cases, that faith is well placed. However, the decision to represent oneself in a personal injury lawsuit is not the ideal scenario to try out one’s ability to do anything and everything.
Yes, it is possible for someone to effectively be their own advocate in a court of law…IF you have the time to take off a few years to study all the minute intricacies of law. However, legal proceedings generally won’t wait years and years for this knowledge to be garnered.
In comparison, it’s possible to build your own automobile from scratch. All you need to do is mine the ore for the various metals, smelt down the metal, and beat it into something that looks like the panels of a car. And then you simply need to weave the cloth for the seats, make your own stuffing for the seats, and make the proper frames for said seats. And don’t forget about rubber trees for tires and proper Vulcanization techniques.
Of course, the above scenario is totally silly. But, so is the prospect of going to trial without a lawyer. A legal professional has already endured not only many years of training and study of cases, they’ve also endured the bar exam, demonstrating they know their stuff. A trained lawyer also knows how to communicate your case to a jury and/or judge. (Remember, the judge was once a lawyer too.) Presenting an effective case involves quite a bit of psychology; knowing what juries want to hear and knowing how to best express a case is something for which lawyers are trained.
What Hiring an Injury Attorney Gives You
Being represented by a personal injury lawyer ultimately gives a client the freedom they need to best make their own case. A lawyer will take care of all the details you might miss, and will train you in what you should and shouldn’t say when questioned by the attorney representing the other party. In fact, what you don’t say is often as, if not more, important as what you do say.
A few years ago, Heather Mills famously represented herself in the acrimonious divorce proceedings involving her and Sir Paul McCartney. Ms. Mills bragged she was saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by representing herself, then went on to botch her case to the point of ending up being granted a fifth of what she had asked for. It was a perfect case of the British saying of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Even lawyers have learned that in cases where they are a defendant or litigant, it’s best to be represented by someone else. It is simply too easy to miss details when someone is too close to their own case. The objective viewpoint and knowledge of a lawyer is always a valuable asset.
In other words, let a personal injury lawyer provide you the freedom of not worrying about what you’ve missed in preparing for a trial and/or a potential settlement. The other side is going to be represented by one or more legal professionals. Do you really deserve less?