Car accidents are nothing to take lightly. Not only can they result in damage to your vehicle, but they can also cause injuries with both short-term and long-term ramifications. Representing yourself, rather than hiring an attorney, is a risk you should never take.

car accident

The Issues With DIY Representation

In many senses, we live in a DIY culture. When you need to get something done and don’t want to pay someone for their services, you just run a quick Google search or watch a YouTube video and knock it out by yourself. But there are certain things you should never handle on your own. A car accident case is one of them.

DIY representation is risky for a number of reasons, but here are four of the biggest points of contention:

 

Focus on Recovery

After a car accident, your number one focus needs to be on recovery. You should be resting, following doctor’s orders, and doing everything you can to return to normalcy. If you’re truly focused on recovery, it’s going to be challenging to simultaneously represent yourself.

If you suffered any sort of head-related injuries – whether a mild concussion or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) – you may even have some confusion and issues with cognitive processing. This will make it even more difficult to handle the complexities of your case.

Complicated Negotiations

“The reality is that insurance settlement cases are complicated. You might have thought that the insurance company is on your side—but they aren’t,” attorney Craig Swapp warns. “They exist to make money, so a dollar less on your settlement is a dollar more in their pockets. If you try to handle the claim on your own, you will almost certainly get an offer that is well below its true value.”

Negotiating an injury settlement isn’t like talking a car dealer down in price for a new vehicle. There are dozens of different factors in play and you can’t possibly know which angle to come from without any experience negotiating.

 

No Understanding of Legal System

A lot of people assume that, because they’ve been to traffic court for a speeding ticket, they’re prepared to handle a car accident case. However, car accident negotiations, claims, and settlements are a whole different beast.  

Without a law degree or any experience working on a legal case, you possess very little understanding of what the legal system is actually like. This puts you behind the eight ball and makes it highly unlikely that you’ll be successful.

 

You Only Get One Chance

There are no do-overs when it comes to your car accident case. If you take a low-ball settlement offer, that’s it. If you sign off on the wrong document and absolve liability, that’s your mistake. With so much on the line, and not a lot to gain by representing yourself, it just doesn’t make sense to take on unnecessary risk.

 

Make the Smart Choice

It’s simply not worth it. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need to contact an attorney to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

When looking for attorneys, there are a few factors to keep in mind. For starters, you want someone with a good reputation in your community. You can ask around for referrals, or even do some research online. The second thing to consider is experience. You need an attorney who has experience working cases like yours. Otherwise you may end up being a guinea pig, which rarely ends well.

Regardless of who you choose, resist the pull of DIY representation and hire an attorney. You’ll be in much better hands.