One of the most well-known sentiments in the legal field is that someone who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. One of the central ideas behind this axiom is that even attorneys typically have the good sense not to represent themselves. But in many ways, it also illustrates the value of an advocate to anyone who is dealing with a legal issue.
There are several reasons that a person needs an attorney when involved in a personal injury case. The legal system in the United States can be complex, and having an experienced representative to take the lead on your case is key to getting a favorable result. Let’s look at why this is true:
Attorneys know the law
Obviously, attorneys are more familiar with handling personal injury cases than your average citizen. But more importantly, an attorney familiar with your specific case type knows specifics of the law that a client would have to devote significant time and energy toward if they were to handle a case on their own. What types of damages can you include in your claim? Who might be held accountable for your injuries? The answers to these questions are not as obvious as you might think, and an attorney has the knowledge and experience to help a client navigate the nuances of personal injury law.
Attorneys help cut through the red tape
Preparing a claim is time-consuming and tedious. It involves investigation, putting together paperwork and filing claims with the court, among many other procedures. For someone who isn’t familiar with the process, it seems fraught with bureaucracy and legal jargon. But for an attorney, it is simply part of the practice that they engage in every day. Attorneys not only demystify the court system, they take care of the most tedious aspects of filing a claim.
Attorneys offer perspective
It’s easy for a person who suffered a serious injury and wants compensation to have their judgment clouded by the desire to get what they rightfully deserve. Attorneys learn very early in their training to maintain an impartial mindset so they can examine a client’s case from all angles. This allows a lawyer to anticipate what the opposing side may do and look for ways in which their client’s case might be vulnerable to rebuttals.
Attorneys usually know what works
Not all attorneys are created equal, but an experienced personal injury lawyer knows what has and hasn’t worked for clients in the past. This allows them to make more informed decisions when building a case. As is true in any profession, people have years of trial and error before they get a handle on what approaches are most effective. Attorneys are no exception.
Ask people you know who have been through similar circumstances what their experiences with attorneys were like. Most attorneys offer free consultations to potential clients. Take advantage of those offers to find out the attorney’s track record and to see if you feel comfortable when discussing your case with them.
Picking the right attorney might seem daunting, but it pales in comparison to the task of representing yourself in a court of law. By heeding the old adage that cautions against self-representation, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor.
This post comes courtesy of Frederick W. Penney of Penney Associates Injury Lawyers. The firm assists people across California with personal injury cases.