Yes, you can represent yourself without a lawyer in a personal injury (or any other civil) case. When you sue for personal injury without a lawyer, you must familiarize yourself with the court system and everything from its filing process to its docket system.
The Ways a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
The legal system allows plaintiffs (the person pursuing a civil case) to sue defendants (the person or entity accused of causing injury) for personal injury without a lawyer. While you are able to seek monetary recovery on your own, a lawyer can provide you with resources and advice to help build a comprehensive case for financial compensation. A personal injury lawyer can:
- Compile evidence and interview witnesses
- Identify the at-fault party and assign liability
- Calculate your expenses and losses
- Negotiate a favorable financial settlement
- Meet your state’s statute of limitations
If you were the victim of a personal injury and want to hold the at-fault party financially responsible for your injuries and their related costs, a lawyer can help you understand the step-by-step legal process of collecting the monetary award for which you may be eligible. A lawyer may also help you recover calculated cost for current and future medical bills resulting from a personal injury. Cost including but not limited to hospital and doctor fees, ongoing care, therapy, and prescription medications.
The Complex Steps Included in Filing a Civil Lawsuit
Filing a civil lawsuit for the personal injuries you sustained due to another person’s negligent or intentional actions can be a complicated and involved process. Suing for personal injury without a lawyer can include identifying the right person to pursue, determining the court’s schedule, and filing the appropriate forms and documents in your local circuit court. Without a lawyer, you might also need to:
- Pay mandatory filing fees in advance
- Understand the state statutes that apply to your case
- Understand legal pleadings, motions, and briefs
In addition to consuming a great deal of time, filing a personal injury lawsuit on your own means you cannot fully focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Having a lawyer on your side means you can concentrate on healing, while your lawyer concentrates on filing your lawsuit or negotiating an insurance settlement for financial compensation.
A Lawyer Can Negotiate a Favorable Personal Injury Settlement
Many personal injury cases are resolved with a financial settlement rather than by going to trial. Avoiding a complex trial can be a good reason to accept a settlement offer, but a settlement offer comes with its own complexities. When you agree to a settlement offer with the at-fault party or their insurer, you will:
- Accept an agreed-upon amount of money to cover your injury-related expenses
- Sign papers that release the at-fault party from any further legal action from you
The decision to accept or reject any amount of money offered to you is always up to you, not your lawyer. A lawyer can, however, help value your compensation claim and reduce the possibility that a financial settlement will not cover all your medical bills, lost wages, and other injury-related costs.
A Lawyer Can Explain Any Relevant Time Limitations
While the law does say you can sue for personal injury without a lawyer, you should understand how a lawyer can help you. A lawyer’s ability to ensure compliance with the statute of limitations in your state could help you file your lawsuit on time.
Time plays a more important role in your personal injury case than you might initially understand. Each state has its own restrictive timeline for filing a personal injury case. Called a statute of limitations, this timeline determines how long you have to file a lawsuit.
If the allotted amount of time runs out, you might be unable to file a lawsuit or negotiate an insurance settlement at all. In addition, many factors can alter the timeline, such as the involvement of a minor or filing suit against a local or state governmental body.
A Lawyer Can Help with Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you sustained an injury because of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation from the responsible party. You can take steps on your own to sue for personal injury without a lawyer by representing yourself in court. However, you do not have to fight for compensation alone.
Your lawyer should be caring and compassionate. The team at The Cochran Firm – Nashville is here to help. The steps to file a civil lawsuit for personal injury can be time-consuming and complex. When you have a lawyer on your side, they can provide you with resources and advice that can help bolster and support your personal injury claim. Call The Cochran Firm - Nashville at 615-678-6278 to speak with a member of our team today.