In case of a personal injury settlement, you may decide to represent yourself instead of hiring a personal injury attorney. While it is a viable option, it is also very important to be prepared. Here are a few things to know before you consider representing yourself in a personal injury claim.
Type of injury settlement
Personal injury claims can include any type of injury, be it due to a car accident, slip and fall, or medical malpractice, among many others. But it is important that you thoroughly go through the acts and laws which govern the specific type of accidents. You can get an expert on board for a short period to orient you to these details.
When to consider self-representation
Personal injury claims are complicated. It is important to know when is the right time to self-represent, and you can use these two important factors –
- Clarity of fault: if it is absolutely clear, with no shadow of a doubt, that the accident has been caused due to someone’s negligence, and you have witnesses who will testify among other strong evidence, you may consider self-representation.
- Minor injuries: if you’ve suffered minor injuries and the party at fault has acknowledged their negligence and responsibility to pay for the medical bills, you can consider settling the case yourself.
However, remember that even if the abovementioned scenario is true, it is possible for the negligent party’s lawyer or insurance company to turn it around in a way that’ll affect your settlement negatively. Hence, it is important that you consider the choice carefully before you decide to self-represent. You can always hire a top injury lawyer to represent you, and if finances are a constraint, consider recruiting a personal injury lawyer from a firm that does not charge a fee unless they win a case, like Siler and Ingber.
Once you’ve decided to take up the case on your own, here are a few important things to get started:
- Compile all the documentation, such as medical bills, relevant emails, bills of any other expenses incurred.
- Get photographic evidence, if possible. Click pictures of any damage to property or anything which showcases negligence, for example, if you slipped in the snow outside a store, click a picture of the snow lying outside to show that it was not cleared.
- Talk to witnesses, if present. It is important to bring witnesses on board so that they can testify for you.
- Be thorough about the current legal system in place to take care of the type of injury you’ve suffered, for example, the time limit of the claim.
- Do not publicize the information of the accident, for example, on your social media as it can be misused by the at-fault party.
- Estimate your damages (exact and general) thoroughly.
Using the above, prepare a strong demand letter as that is the first step in getting the settlement process started. Propose a settlement amount that has reasonable scope for negotiation as the at-fault party’s insurer/lawyer will try to lowball your claim. Remember, if you’re offered a fair settlement, take it. It is better than the case going to trial as there’s always a chance that the jury may decide in favor of the defendant, leaving you with nothing.
While we encourage self-representation, wherever possible, but we also suggest that you hire a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate through the case, especially those which are complicated.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to someone’s negligence, you need the top injury lawyers, contact Siler & Ingber today. Call us on 1-877-529-4343 or complete our online form on this page to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Our consultation is free and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.