Why shouldn't you handle your personal injury case yourself?

America is a do-it-yourself (DIY) type of nation. People are reluctant to hire anybody to handle a job that they think they can figure out on their own. They do it with plumbing, electric work and even home medicine.

However, you really don't want to take the DIY approach when it comes to pursuing compensation for a personal injury. This is why:

You don't really know what a fair settlement is

How can you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance adjuster unless you know what a fair settlement looks like in your case?

It's a lot more complicated than just adding up your medical bills. You have to take into consideration any future expenses you may have as a result of your injuries, the limits of the defendant's financial resources, the strengths and weaknesses of your case -- and even the size of verdicts in similar cases. What's considered reasonable in California, for example, might be outrageous in central Ohio, where the economic standards are different.

If you miss a deadline, your case is over

If you miss one deadline, there are no second chances -- your case will be over on a technicality regardless of its merits.

Most people know that there's a certain length of time, known as the statute of limitations, in which you have to file. But there are a myriad of other deadlines that can be equally important once a case gets in full swing. Interrogatories, depositions and other steps in the process also have their time limits -- and they aren't easy to understand.

You don't know what evidence the court requires

You can prove an accident happened and you can prove you were hurt. But proving that someone else was negligent and that negligence caused your injuries can be much more complicated.

Some of the evidence you may need to win could be gone before you even realize you might need it -- recordings and broken pieces of equipment can disappear if nobody thinks to demand their preservation. You also probably don't know how to find any experts that you might need to testify in your case. Courts also have rules about what is considered actual evidence and what is just "hearsay" or otherwise invalid.

Don't let your enthusiasm for doing things yourself put you at a disadvantage if you've been injured -- there's plenty of help available!

Source: FindLaw, "5 Things a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)," Daniel Taylor, accessed April 06, 2018

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