Can I Represent Myself in an Injury Case?
Posted By Todd Miner Law || Oct 16, 2018
Victims injured by the negligent or wrongful acts of others have the right to pursue compensation for their losses by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. While there is no statutory requirement for you to have legal representation when pursuing financial compensation for your damages, there are many reasons why representing yourself can have unintended consequences, and many reasons why working with experienced attorneys can make all the difference in your case.
Below, we discuss a few of the reasons why you should reconsider representing yourself in a personal injury case:
- Profits over people: you’re at risk – When you’re injured in a preventable accident, your personal injury case may name an individual (such as a driver who caused a car accident) as the defendant or a business (such as a nursing home). However, defendants in personal injury cases are typically represented by their insurance carriers. As corporations, insurance companies have financial interests in limiting the amount of money they pay victims, and typically prioritize profits over people when defending against claims. Their goals, as any corporation’s goals ultimately are: focus on protecting their bottom line and paying you as little as they possibly can. Although every case is different, insurance companies are apt to notice when victims don’t have legal representation, and often go to great lengths to capitalize on that fact for their own benefit. This may mean getting a victim to quickly settle a case for less than the true value, even if that settlement may be unfair, insufficient for meeting a victims’ needs, or offered before the full scope of a victims’ damages are known. Without attorneys in your corner, you are at risk of being one of the many people whom insurance companies and corporations take advantage of in favor of protecting their bottom line.
- Taking the right steps: do you know how? – The saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” applies to personal injury cases. For most people, suffering preventable injuries and pursuing a personal injury case, is the first time they are acquainted with the personal injury claim process. While you can certainly do your own research, you likely lack the scope of understanding and years of insight experienced personal injury lawyers can provide, especially when it comes to knowing what steps you should be taking from the very beginning and as the process unfolds, for example: communicating with insurance companies, preserving evidence, exploring your available options, navigating your medical and insurance matters, and ultimately protecting your interests for securing the best possible outcome. Without the guidance of experienced attorneys like those at Todd Miner Law, you limit yourself to only what you know, and put yourself at risk of making errors or missteps that can create unexpected challenges, or which ultimately impact the resolution of your case.
- Limited resources – Unless you have the ability to hire multiple service providers for things like independent investigations, assistance with insurance claim and civil court filings, expert insight or testimony, and other important services that can bolster your case, you will likely be limited by your resources. Working with legal representation can provide you not only with extensive insight into the process, but also the resources and professional connections that have the potential to benefit your case, and help you refute any actions taken by insurance companies as they defend against your claim, such as disputing liability or saying you were the one at fault. Our personal injury attorneys are able to strengthen clients’ cases because we have the resources they need, when they need them. At Todd Miner Law, we represent clients on contingency fees, meaning we only get paid upon the successful resolution of a case. This arrangement allows you to focus on your health and most pressing concerns, and benefit from ample resources immediately.
- Negotiations and Litigation – Most personal injury cases are resolved through out-of-court settlement agreements. However, ensuring those settlements are fair and in your best interests requires a great deal of work. As mentioned, you can’t expect insurance companies to automatically pay you for your damages; they’ll do whatever they can to pay as little as possible. With legal representation, you can benefit from the experience and insight of advocates who have an understanding of what a fair offer looks like in your particular case, how to prove your need for more compensation, and who have the ability to negotiate full and fair settlements. Additionally, because insurance companies know personal injury attorneys have the ability to pursue civil lawsuits when settlement offers are unfair, they can be more deterred by the risk of having to take a case to trial, especially against proven trial lawyers, than they would be about an unrepresented victim. Should litigation become necessary, an experienced attorney becomes even more important to navigating complex and high stakes legal proceedings.
Todd Miner Law: Dedicated to Protecting Victims’ Rights
At Todd Miner Law, our Orlando personal injury lawyers have earned national recognition for their work, and a reputation as proven and passionate advocates. Here are a few ways our firm looks to make a difference when fighting for victims and their families:
- Leverage our decades of collective experience and our exclusive focus on personal injury cases to help clients navigate the unique and challenging aspects of their journeys step-by-step.
- Draw from the insight of Attorney Todd Miner, a former insurance defense attorney with the nation’s largest Auto Insurance Company and former Assistant State Attorney who has a deeper breadth of understanding when it comes to the ways insurance companies defend against personal injury cases.
- Create a level playing field with insurance companies and corporate defendants by providing our clients with the firepower they need, from ample resources and professional connections, to our reputation as skilled and proven trial attorneys who know how to win tough cases.
- Passionately protect the rights of victims and act as their support system through our drive to make real differences in their lives, hold at-fault parties and insurance companies accountable, and seek the maximum compensation possible.
To put things simply: no, you do not have to have an attorney when pursing a personal injury case, but you also don’t necessarily have to see a doctor to set a broken bone. However, you should always evaluate whether representing yourself is truly in your best interests, and how an experienced and dedicated team of advocates can help you protect your rights and position yourself for the best possible resolution.
Our attorneys at Todd Miner Law know unexpected accidents, injuries, and the need to take action can make for a daunting and overwhelming experience, which is why we are readily available to help you learn more about your rights, options, and how we can help during a FREE and confidential consultation. Contact us today to learn more about our services.