Should you Handle your own Personal Injury Claim or Hire a Lawyer?

Whether you are thinking about redecorating your bedroom, working on your car engine or have a medical concern, rightly or wrongly people today are increasingly taking things into their own hands. The growth of the internet especially is empowering people to learn new things, from re-upholstering cushions to booking holidays.

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Whilst there are many things that we would have once had to pay people to do for us that we can now do ourselves, it also makes us appreciate people who do jobs and have skills that we cannot emulate.

Personal Injury Claims

Making a personal injury claim, depending on the case can be very straightforward or can be pretty complex. In a few cases it is possible for people to handle their case themselves and of course cut down on their legal fees. Most people, however do benefit from having a professional lawyer look after or at least advise on the case.

Personal injury claims cover a wide range of situations, from a trip or fall, car accidents, dog bites to food poisoning. Depending on the situation and its gravity, you may want to settle the claim through insurance or the small claims court, but for bigger, perhaps more contentious or more complicated situations you might be better off at least taking legal advice.

Handling your own Case

It is important when you are deciding whether to handle your case on your own or not, that you understand that if you start on your own and hire a lawyer later, it can compromise and complicate your case. Try to figure out what you are and aren’t capable of before you decide to take the case on yourself.

It would be worth your while at the beginning to have a consultation with a lawyer to establish how feasible it is for you to be able to take your case on yourself. It might be the case that a lawyer can help with some aspects of the case whilst leaving other parts of it to you.

When to Hire a Lawyer

There are many situations when it would be easier for you to hire a lawyer. Maybe you don’t have the time to carry out all of the work, you feel that the incident was grave, or that you feel that you would be in over your head. Lawyers train for years and years to have a detailed knowledge of the law and its intricacies, as well as how to effectively communicate and negotiate to get the best outcome for you.

A 1999 study by the Insurance Research Council suggests that claimants usually get 3.5 times the size of a settlement when legal assistance is used compared to when it’s not.  You should also remember that big companies usually will have top legal representation and there is a chance that you might find yourself up against them.

In summary, it is absolutely up to you whether you handle your own personal injury claim. However, think hard about it, look carefully at your case and maybe get some legal advice before you start.