Car Accident FAQs
Should I Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident Injury or Represent Myself?
If you’ve been injured in a car, truck, or other vehicle accident, or in any other situation, you may be wondering whether you should retain an attorney to represent you, or whether you should try to settle your case yourself.
In most situations, a person will be far better off from a financial standpoint retaining an attorney than representing themselves.
Unless you are an attorney or have significant legal knowledge, in most cases a self-represented person will be “out-matched” in terms of legal expertise.
In the case of an auto accident where the other driver has insurance, the other driver will have an insurance company behind them, and the insurance company in turn will hire a law firm to represent the driver (and the insurance company’s interests) as a matter of course. The insurance company will not choose not to hire a law firm because you have chosen not to hire a lawyer.
In these situations, the driver (and their insurance company) are clearly at a significant advantage. They are free to employ any legal tactics whatsoever to avoid or minimize liability. They can try to be friendly to the injured person and try to delay a lawsuit to run out what is known as the statute of limitations so that the injured person will lose their right to sue.
If a lawsuit is filed, usually the injured person will not have the legal knowledge to know how to effectively represent their interests. Additionally, the time required to adequately represent their interests through court filings and motions can be substantial, as these matters are complex.
In the litigation process, the opposing party will also be free to employ tactics that will work against the injured person, such as getting the other person to inadvertently make statements that will be used at trial to weaken their case. A good attorney will be able to protect their client to the extent possible against tactics that may otherwise be used against an injury victim.