Car accidents are not just traumatic and scary; they’re also quite costly. A car accident with apparent injuries will have about $29,000 in damages, on average. If you’re in an accident, you need a legal strategy that helps you recover every dollar you’re entitled to. Many people use the time after a car crash to hire an attorney. Others choose to represent themselves. Which is the best course to take? Here’s some information to help you consider representing yourself or hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Representing Yourself in a Personal Injury Case
Representing your own interest means handling your own filings, negotiations, testimony, and any other matters. You’re well within your legal rights to represent yourself and aren’t obligated to hire a lawyer. Here’s what to consider if you’re thinking of advocating for yourself:
You Will Not Have to Pay Legal Fees
Many people represent themselves to avoid paying for a lawyer. You won’t have to split your payout with anyone if you represent yourself and win a judgment or settlement.
People primarily represent themselves when they have little to no injuries and vehicle damage is only a few thousand dollars. Many personal injury attorneys won’t take cases unless they meet a certain threshold, especially since they get paid on the backend.
You Will Have to Fund Your Own Case
Saving money by not hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean you save money long-term. You’re responsible for funding your own case when you represent yourself. This can eat away at the money you’re awarded in your case, which leaves you still in need in the end.
The Legal System Is Complicated
Recognize that you might be at a disadvantage representing yourself in your case. Legal matters are complex and you can’t reasonably match the years of education and experience of a licensed attorney.
Certain cases, like rideshare accidents, get particularly complex because they involve so many different variables. Attempting to tackle these areas without legal expertise will be challenging and could potentially hurt your case.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s almost always best to hire a personal injury lawyer for your car accident case. They’re trained to interpret the law and work on your behalf. Here are the benefits and points you should consider:
Attorneys Are Skilled in Various Areas of Personal Injury Law
Personal injury cases are some of the most multifaceted civil suits. Hiring a car accident attorney gets you expert help from pros who understand multiple areas of the law.
They understand truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other types of cases. You won’t have to navigate these details alone when you have the help of a lawyer.
Experience Recovering the Full Extent of Damages
A single-car accident might account for significant damages. A quality lawyer will help you consider all of the damages you’re dealing with so you can recoup every penny.
Some damages that you might recover in a car accident include vehicle repairs, lost wages, medical bills, and future medical expenses.
Legal Representation Can Be Cost-Effective
Hiring a lawyer is also beneficial because there’s no obligation to pay money upfront if the attorney works on a contingency fee basis. Personal injury lawyers who operate with this billing system will only collect money after the case has ended and only if the case was a success.
Their payment, known as a contingency fee, typically costs between 20% and 50% of your payout. Having someone represent you without upfront costs makes hiring a lawyer an easy decision.
Lawyers Help in Both Settlements and Court Cases
You don’t immediately know whether your case will be settled outside of court or if it’ll be handled in a trial. An attorney can help you in either situation.
Early in the process, a lawyer will hold a deposition. This is an out-of-court testimony interview about the accident, the injuries you suffered, and other key details. A deposition is typically either recorded or held with a court reporter present.
Getting these details on the record is a big deciding factor in how your case is handled. If the other side sees the facts of the case and wants to settle, your lawyer will hold negotiation sessions to get you the most reasonable payout as quickly as possible.
If your case goes to court, the lawyer will collect evidence and testimony to substantiate your side of the story.
Reach a Settlement in a Shorter Timeframe
Time is of the essence for civil cases. Stalling and experiencing starts and stops can put you dangerously close to the statute of limitations where you live. The statute of limitations is 2 years in California. A lawyer will always keep you on track with the statute of limitations so that you don’t miss out on the money you’re owed.
Accurately Prove Liability
You should also hire an attorney because of the sheer difficulty involved with navigating the legal system. Proving liability isn’t so cut and dry in all car accident cases. There may also be situations where drivers share liability.
An attorney understands these sorts of implications and can hold the other party accountable for what they owe by conducting independent investigations, working with expert witnesses, and preserving key evidence.
Handle Your Legal Needs
A personal injury lawyer can help you with all types of car accident claims. Hiring an attorney will help you get the full healing and recovery that you need. Get the best value from your case by hiring a local Bar-certified injury lawyer that can represent you.
Beach Accident Attorneys provides top-tier legal services to Newport Beach and the surrounding Southern California area. To request a free consultation or ask questions, send a message or give us a call at (949) 996 – 7620 for more information.