Have you ever considered representing yourself in your own injury case? As the accuser in a personal injury case (as in all legal proceedings), you’re entitled to represent yourself and be your own attorney. This process is referred to as proceeding pro se – and really, how hard could it be? Is it really a good idea? The truth is, representing yourself can be very challenging.
A professional lawyer with experience could bring a lot to your case. To assist you to make an informed decision, here are five things that a professional injury lawyer can do for you.
What You Need To Bring To Court
As the fact you’ve been injured is clear, you may believe this is all you need to win your case. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of information that you need to bring with you to court to prove your side of the story, even if the injury is obvious.
Providing the evidence for only part of the case may not be enough for you to win. For example, you may discover you need to call upon an expert witness to show that the defendant was acting unreasonably. There is also a number of rules about what kind of evidence you can and cannot use in court – and it’s not always clear what is appropriate.
Negotiating Fair Settlements
A professional injury lawyer can save you a lot of time, money and uncertainty by settling an out-of-court agreement. If you choose to represent yourself, there are a few points to consider before beginning these settlement discussions – and you might not know the answer to most of them. These questions can include:
- What are your chances for winning the trial?
- What were the verdicts and settlements in cases similar to yours?
- Are there possible weaknesses in your evidence or the other party’s?
- What is the scope of the defendants’ resources and insurance coverage?
A personal injury lawyer will be able to collect and criticise this type of information quickly and efficiently. They will also be able to deal with the other party’s representation; a task which can be incredibly daunting for an untrained individual.
Meeting Vital Deadlines
Each jurisdiction has a code of civil procedure. This procedure controls all civil lawsuits including personal injury cases. In these codes, there are deadlines for everything that happens, such as serving the opposing party and filing the case within the timeline provided by the statute of limitations. Failing to serve a case within the statute of limitations set by your court’s jurisdiction can result in the case dismissal. Once a case is filed, there’s another host of deadlines that must be met. And, as you can imagine, courts are not sympathetic towards pro se individuals that miss these deadlines.
Relocation To Another Court
Not so long ago, a group of large corporate defendants involved in several injury cases indiscriminately tried to transfer their cases from State courts to Federal. Federal courts are renowned for acting friendly towards defendants, not plaintiffs, and are usually less likely to award large sums of damage money. By using a personal injury lawyer, they’ll be able to help prevent this from happening and can also tell you when moving your case may actually benefit you.
Communicating With The Other Parties
If you’ve decided to represent yourself, your opponent will most likely hold back counsel, meaning that as you proceed through the different stages of a case (such as discovery, motions and trial), you’ll be faced with experienced, highly trained attorneys who will know all the rules relating to civil procedures. They’ll also be well educated on evidence rules and the appropriate legal tactics needed for their clients, while you remain in the dark.
If you’re put off hiring a personal lawyer because of the cost, always remember that the majority of personal injury lawyers work on a no win, no fee basis. This means you only pay the lawyer if you win.
If you have any queries or require further information on why you may need a professional attorney for your personal injury case, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help any way we can.
PK Simpson – Sydney
11/162 Goulburn St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9299 1424
PK Simpson Compensation Lawyers – Wollongong
1/1 Burelli St, Wollongong NSW 2500
(02) 9299 1424
PK Simpson & Co – Liverpool
2/215-219 George St, Liverpool NSW 2170
(02) 9262 4497
P.K Simpson – Parramatta
2/70 Macquarie St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9299 1424