4 Reasons Why You Should Not Represent Yourself in a Personal Injury Case

There is an old English proverb that is particularly relevant to this topic:  “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”

Although you certainly have the law-given right to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit, it is not the encouraged option for claimants. Continue below to learn 4 critical reasons why, plus what legal recourse you should take to ensure you are awarded the maximum settlement for your damages and losses.

Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700
Personal Injury Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-881-2700

Personal Injury Self-Representation is Not a Good Idea

It is understandable that some accident victims ponder the idea of self-representation since civil litigants do not have a constitutional right to legal representation like criminal defendants do. But most personal injury law firms work on contingency, which means accident victims needn’t worry about affording a lawyer. Under a contingency-fee arrangement, clients do not pay any upfront costs or fees. They only pay after the law firm has obtained a settlement or verdict for them. If the law firm is unable to obtain a settlement for a client, the client owes nothing.

Some people consider representing themselves because they think they can be successful. However, there are many elements and aspects of a personal injury case that require astute and knowledgeable understanding of the law in order to maximize an accident settlement. In fact, this is the first reason why you should not choose to represent yourself in a personal injury lawsuit.

4 Risks You Take When You Choose to Represent Yourself

Complexities of the Legal System

If you plan to represent yourself, understand that the courts will strictly hold you to all related duties. You will be expected to know and understand all rules regarding evidence and civil procedures, plus identify the principal legal matter and raise all arguments. They will also expect you to know about and file all necessary paperwork within their differentiating deadlines. Failure to do so can end a case.

These legal processes are complicated, even for someone with a basic understanding of the court system. A personal injury lawyer is the best resource for obtaining the most money possible for your damages because they are specialized in tort law and have an acute knowledge of the law and courts.

Instant Legal Expenses

As soon as you begin on your personal injury case, the legal expenses will immediately begin to accrue. Clients of personal injury lawyers who operate on contingency are often covered by the law firm in terms of any required upfront legal costs. Clients pay for all legal expenses when their attorneys obtain a settlement for them. Oppositely, anyone representing themselves will be forced to pay their own legal costs from start to finish, which may include court costs, filing fees, copying fees, serving pleadings, depositions, hearing transcribing, expert testimony costs, investigatory costs, and more.

Less Compensation

It is very difficult for the average personal injury claimant to gain the full value of their case when representing themselves. Attempting to do so would certainly pose all sorts of challenges. Not only do personal injury lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies, especially since they are acutely trained to dodge the common tactics used by insurance companies to lower the value of a claimant’s case, but they know how to accurately evaluate your claim’s full worth.

Complicated Lien Resolution

For most personal injury cases, an awarded settlement means that at least one healthcare lien must be resolved with a government healthcare program or private insurer, typically Medicaid or Medicare, but sometimes the Veterans’ Administration. This process of lien resolution for personal injury settlements requires seasoned legal knowledge and training. Self-representing personal injury claimants often find themselves stuck in regulatory traps and red-tape mazes. 

Do you still need more convincing that a personal injury law firm is the right choice for your accident case in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free personal injury case evaluation. You can speak directly with a trusted and experienced Indianapolis IN accident attorney over the phone, via online video, or in person at our office. We represent clients throughout the state of Indiana.

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How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Cost?

If you have been shopping around for a personal injury lawyer in Indiana, you have probably come across advertisements like, “You Don’t Pay Unless We Win”, or “No Fees if We Don’t Recover for You.” These statements are referring to the law firm’s attorney representation contract, or contingency-fee agreement.

As a recent victim or survivor who was wrongly injured in an accident, it is important to know the difference between personal injury fees and legal costs, including how contingency-fee pricing models work and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for your impending or potential lawsuit.

Continue reading to learn more about contingency-fee agreements and the additional costs expected in a personal injury lawsuit, as well as who you can trust to obtain the maximum settlement for your Indiana accident case.

Indianapolis Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700
Indianapolis Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Facts About Law Firm Contingency-Fees

Under a contingency-fee contract, both the lawyer and the client are agreeing upon an arrangement. Basically, a personal injury lawyer is agreeing to represent a client without asking for any money or payment upfront, and the client is agreeing to pay the lawyer a certain percentage of their settlement or judgment they receive from their claim.

Generally, the most common percentage used is 1/3 of the total settlement. But the actual percentage varies among firms and can also depend on when the settlement is recovered. Some law firms even use a sliding scale that increases in percentage as the case progresses. Here is an example:

► 33.33% Fee for claims settled out of court.
► 36% Fee for claims that settle before trial.
► 40% Fee for claims settled at trial by jury.

Although some attorneys charge 50% Fee in certain cases, Craven, Hoover and Blazek, P.C. does not.  The part of a contingency agreement that is “contingent” or conditional, is whether or not the lawyer recovers a settlement for the client (either via settlement or court trial). If no settlement is awarded, the client does not have to pay because there is no settlement to pay from.

Attorney Fees Versus Expenses

Lawyer costs and lawyer fees are separate from one another. “Fees” are the payments made to lawyers for their services, which they only receive if they recover a settlement or win a trial. “Costs” on the other hand, are the expenses incurred throughout the legal process for the purpose of keeping the case going. These include document preparation costs, filing fees, court costs, expert witness imbursements, and more. It all depends on the length and complexity of the claim.

How to Cover All Legal Fees Without Feeling Any Financial Impact

So long as you hire a seasoned and skilled Indianapolis personal injury law firm to represent your case, you will not have to worry about being negatively financially impacted after winning your personal injury lawsuit. A skilled personal injury attorney will ensure that you receive the maximum settlement or verdict for your case. If you hire the right legal team, you should have more than enough compensation to pay your attorney fees and resulting legal costs, plus have a substantial amount of compensation left over.  Hiring the right attorney will allow you to obtain a full and fair settlement or verdict.

The bottom line is you will always be better off hiring an experienced attorney than not hiring one.

Are you looking for skilled personal injury attorney to represent your recent accident case in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to meet with a seasoned Indianapolis Indiana accident attorney you can trust to recover the settlement you deserve. We represent victims all throughout the state of Indiana and Indiana residents injured in other states.

Related Posts:

Common Fee Arrangements for Legal Representation
Are Personal Injury Lawyers Expensive?
The Most Common Types of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Lawsuits

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Who is Legally Responsible for Damages Caused by an Under-Aged Drivers?

Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

Car Accident Attorneys 317-881-2700

The legal driving age is set for a reason. And there are certain qualifications that must be met before anyone, at any age, is offered a drivers’ license. Without an active drivers’ license, a person is not legally allowed to operate a vehicle under any circumstances. Now the age at which a person can legally apply and acquire a drivers’ license differs state to state. In Indiana, a teenager can legally begin drivers’ education courses and receive a probationary license at the age of 16 or older. A probationary license prohibits a person from driving alone. They must always have a licensed driver with them at all times while operating a vehicle. This type of license is not intended to let a person drive legally, without supervision of an actual licensed driver.

Once a person reaches the age of 17, they are eligible to take the state mandatory driving tests, written and field, and receive their drivers’ licensed if they pass both exams. No one under these ages, or without a valid license, can legally operate a vehicle. So what happens if an under-aged minor decides to take a car for a joy-ride, and then causes an accident that renders another person injured or worse? Continue reading to find out.

Under-Age and Un-Insured Motorist Accidents

When a minor that is under the legal driving age and without proper licensing causes a car accident that results in another person’s injury or death, it can be alarming to learn who is actually responsible for the injured party’s’ damages. The answer is the parents or legal guardians. An under-aged minor without a drivers’ license doesn’t have insurance, and it is usually the insurance company that pays out a settlement in the case of a car accident. The parents are the ones with liability insurance for their children, or at least they should, and these are ones who will get the brunt of the liability. Many insurance companies, however, may not pay for such an incident since the driver was neither legal nor of-age, which means the parents will have to personally pay remuneration for whoever was injured as a result of their minor’s driving escapade.

It is best to consult a licensed car accident lawyer in Indianapolis for accurate legal counsel and information pertaining to your personal case. They retain the proper resources, experience, and knowledge to answer all of your personal injury and liability insurance questions, any time.

Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C.

Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury Lawyers 317-881-2700

Call Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 for professional legal advice and counsel regarding car accident injury lawsuits in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attorney, Daniel Craven, is available to answer your personal injury questions today! We offer free initial consultations and never collect lawyer fees unless we prevail for you! Call 317-881-2700 and schedule an appointment with one of our licensed car accident lawyers in Indianapolis, IN today.