If you were injured in a car crash, bicycle or motorcycle accident, bitten by a dog or suffered any other type of personal injury, you may be tempted to act as your own attorney. There are many reasons why, in most cases, this is not a good idea. Many studies have shown that pro se litigants have less positive outcomes than do those who have adequate and competent legal representation. You will face many problems if you continue your quest to represent yourself.

Things You Should Know Before Choosing to Represent Yourself

  • Your case may not be taken as seriously. Pro se litigants are perceived by others, including opposing counsel and the court, as not having a serious case. It may appear as though you werebusinessman with help sign on white background unable to find a Charlotte personal injury attorney willing to take your case, so you chose to proceed on your own.
  • You have the burden of proving your case. While you are floundering trying to understand what interrogatories, depositions, requests for admissions and production of documents are, how to prepare them and respond to them, the opposition is flooding you with discovery requests. There are established deadlines for responding to each discovery request. If you fail to meet a deadline, your case could be dismissed. You also have to face deadlines for obtaining discovery from the defendant. If you miss one of those deadlines, you will not have the information you need in order to pursue your case.
  • You will be disadvantaged by not having investigators. You will be facing opposing counsel who has a team of investigators. While you are struggling with legal procedures and documents, a surveillance team could be following you in an attempt to capture footage of you acting in a way that is inconsistent with your claimed damages.
  • You may inaccurately value your case. The insurer may make you an offer. It may seem like a lot of money and you accept it when, in fact, it was a very low-ball offer and not nearly what your case is worth. On the other hand, you could have an unrealistic view of the worth of your case and turn down a perfectly reasonable offer.

Lastly, representing yourself in a case does not save money. The Campbell & Associates personal injury attorneys in Charlotte, NC, offer a complimentary consultation. If an attorney decides to take your case and work with you, they work on a contingency basis. This means their legal fees are set as a percentage of the settlement and you pay no legal fee if you do not win your case.