Representing yourself in a auto accident claim
Self-representation has pros and cons. An apparent pro: attorney's fees are eliminated. The cons? A few are: Irreparable damage to the claim can result from contradictory statements to the adverse driver's insurer, omitting aspects of the claim or allowing the statute of limitations to expire.
Consult with an attorney before representing yourselfConsultations with auto accident attorneys are free. Use the opportunity to understand the nature and character of your claim. Ask questions about the value of the case. If an attorney provides a case value estimate, calculate a reduction of the attorney's fee from the value provided. These exercises help determine if hiring attorney is worth while. A good attorney will tell you when you should represent yourself.
Be prepared to represent yourself in court for trial if you decide to represent yourselfIf you decide to represent yourself, be prepared to go the distance. Do not expect the opposing driver's insurance carrier or the judge (if the case proceeds to a lawsuit) to cut you any slack. Research and study to understand, on your own, all aspects of your claim, including negotiating with the insurance carrier and settlement agreements. If you file a lawsuit, research and study to understand, on your own, all aspects of the court rules, court deadlines and trial procedure. If you are unwilling to engage in these exercises but you are trying to decide whether to represent yourself, ask yourself if you will better benefit from hiring an attorney.