One of the cornerstones of the American legal system is that people are allowed to represent themselves in Court, and it can be a tempting thought. The problem is that when you are told you have this right, you are not also told that you will be expected to know all of the same things as an attorney. Unless you have gone to law school and made a career out of practicing law, it is near impossible to be on a level playing field with someone who has done these things. Representing yourself in Court is scary, and not near the Hollywood picture it appears to be on television and in the movies. Just like you would not call a doctor and ask for step by step instructions on how to perform surgery, you should also not represent yourself in Court.
Five dangers of representing yourself, and especially in a personal injury case, include:
- Filing your case out of time, or responding to a Motion or other document outside of the allowable time.
- Being unaware of how to introduce evidence, which could lead to you not being able to present information on how an accident happened. If you cannot show the Court or jury how you were injured, it is unlikely you will prevail.
- Paying for experts and other court costs. In personal injury cases many of the attorney fee agreements are contingent. What this means is that if you are not successful on your claim, you do not have to pay for the legal services. However, if you represent yourself you will be made to bear the cost of filing the case, deposing witnesses, advancing fees for any expert, and paying for other administrative costs that go along with filing a claim.
- Adding to the stress you already feel from having been in an accident. Being hurt is no walk in the park, and if you decide to take matters into your own hands you can wind up feeling more stress than if you enlisted the help of a qualified attorney and allowed them to bear the burden of litigation for you.
- Becoming too emotionally involved in the case, which may cloud your judgment on important issues. Of course your case is important to you, but mixing personal issues with business matters can spell disaster. When you are too close to something emotionally, it can be hard to think clearly and take reasonable actions.
Rather than fall prey to these and other dangers of representing yourself, let us help. We will make sure your case is filed on time, that evidence is properly introduced, and aggressively pursue all of your legal remedies. Call our office to make an appointment.
If you have been in an accident and have questions, call our office to find out what to do next and what to expect. Let an experienced attorney help you figure what is best for you. Call a Bloomington, Minnesota personal injury attorney today.