If you’ve been in an accident that left you with serious injuries, you know that the financial effects can be devastating. You might be facing a growing pile of medical bills. Perhaps you missed work to take time to heal or attend doctor’s appointments. No matter the reason, the financial consequences can be very serious.
Because your finances may be strained, you might worry that hiring an attorney will be another expense to add to the list. But when it comes to getting the compensation you deserve, handling your case yourself will cost you more in the long run. Read on to learn about the dangers of representing yourself in a car accident case and why hiring an attorney is your best bet.
A Good Lawyer Has Time.
In courtroom shows, a tough-talking judge listens to two people for a few minutes, chastises them for a while, and issues a decision before a commercial break. In real life, things work a little differently. The average personal injury lawyer spends dozens of hours interviewing witnesses, writing court documents, and doing legal research.
If you don’t have extra hours to devote to legal research and writing, hiring an Alabama car accident attorney is a good option.
A Good Lawyer Is Objective.
Emotions usually run high in car accident cases. It’s normal for a person injured in an accident to be angry at the people who caused it. But most of us don’t make good decisions when we’re upset. If you represent yourself, your emotions might keep you from making the best decisions for your personal injury case.
On the other hand, starting in law school, lawyers learn to be objective. They can look at the facts of the case without letting their sense of what should happen interfere with what the law says is likely to happen. An Alabama car accident attorney can give you objective advice while still fighting passionately for your legal rights.
A Good Personal Injury Lawyer Knows the Relevant Law and the Legal System.
What we know as the “law” has many different parts. For instance, the Alabama code is one source of law in our state. Cases from Alabama courts and regulations from Alabama agencies contain additional rules. A good personal injury lawyer knows how to use the law, where to find the newest laws, and which sources of law apply in your case.
Beyond the rules that apply to your case, the legal system contains a veritable maze of rules that dictate how cases must proceed. For example, when you file a lawsuit, you must “serve” the at-fault driver. Service rules require you to give the other driver notice of the lawsuit in a very specific way. At best, making a mistake with service or other procedural rules could delay your case. At worst, your mistakes could lead the court to dismiss your claim. Hiring an attorney who knows court procedures will keep your personal injury lawsuit on track.
A Good Lawyer Knows How Much Your Case Is Worth.
Despite what you may have seen online, there isn’t a magic calculator that can tell you how much your car accident case is worth. Many factors determine how much your accident case is worth. An experienced Birmingham personal injury attorney knows these factors and can apply them to your case.
The inability to assign a proper value to your case is one of the biggest dangers of representing yourself. If you give your case too little value, you might accept a settlement that’s too low to cover all of your medical bills. If you rate your case too highly, you might reject a fair settlement offer. Luckily, an Alabama car accident lawyer who regularly deals with these issues can tell you how much your accident lawsuit is worth.
A Good Lawyer Knows How to Build a Case.
Every car accident case needs a solid strategy. Part of this blueprint will come from the facts found during the investigation of the case. Other parts of the strategy will develop based on the strength of witnesses and other factors. For instance, in complex cases, multiple people or companies might be responsible for your injuries. (This is particularly true in trucking accident cases.) An Alabama personal injury attorney knows how to take pieces of evidence and testimony and weave them together in a way that will maximize your chances of getting compensation.
A Good Lawyer Knows How to Handle Mistakes.
There are many things that you shouldn’t do after a car accident. For example, you should not post about your car accident on social media. But if you’ve already done so, what should you do? You may not know, but that’s fine. A Birmingham car accident lawyer will know how to deal with any mistakes that you made before you contacted their office.
A Good Lawyer Knows How to Negotiate.
An experienced injury lawyer has taken part in many negotiations. They know the steps of the dance, so to speak. But if you’re “dancing” for the first time, you’ll likely miss a step. And your missteps will cause you to lose out on money that you need to put your life back together after the accident.
Losing money is one of the biggest dangers of representing yourself in a car accident case. A study from Lawyers.com found that 91% of injured people with attorneys received settlements compared to just 51% of those who represented themselves. But even if you get a settlement on your own, you probably won’t get as much. The same study found that people with lawyers got an average settlement of $77,600, while those who represented themselves got just $17,600 – about 4.5 times less. Clearly, having a lawyer affects whether you’ll get a settlement and how much that settlement might be.
Hire a Good Lawyer for Your Car Accident Injuries Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you have legal rights. But if you handle your personal injury lawsuit yourself, you could make a mistake that puts those rights in jeopardy and makes it harder to get the compensation that you deserve.
If you’re injured, Collins Law, LLC can help. Our firm has experience handling injuries from car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, and more. Our firm’s values demand that we not only get the best legal outcome for our clients but that we also treat every client with compassion and care. To learn more about how we can help you with your accident lawsuit, call us at 205-588-1411 or use our website’s online scheduling tool to schedule a free consultation.