Yes, you have the right to represent yourself in civil court, just like you do in criminal court. However, there are many reasons why you should not, as even the most experienced lawyers hire their own attorneys when facing legal issues.

If you have been seriously injured in an accident, you might be tempted to forgo hiring a lawyer to make your case against the insurance company that is denying you fair payment. Maybe you believe you will save money if you represent yourself, or that your case is so straightforward that you don’t need a lawyer to make your case for you.

Whatever your rationale, it is important to consider the many downsides of representing yourself in civil court.

Laws—And the Legal System—Can Be Complex

There is a reason that getting through law school and passing a state’s bar exam take so much time and effort. Laws are complicated, and so is the legal system you need to navigate in civil court.

It takes years to understand fundamental legal concepts and the process required to successfully handle a case. Even attorneys who have just passed the bar require experience before they become their most effective for clients. Additionally, most states require lawyers to continue to educate themselves on new legal practices to retain their license to practice law.

Imagine cramming all of that learning and experience into the limited time you have available to file your claim, while recovering from a serious injury.

You Are Not Impartial

One of the main reasons that even the most experienced attorneys hire other lawyers to handle their cases is because they lack objectivity in their own cases. Successfully representing a client means looking at their case from every conceivable angle. It is essential that lawyers anticipate counterarguments from the other side and look for any potential weaknesses in their clients’ cases.

You cannot afford to let your emotions affect your chances of winning the compensation you need. It may seem obvious to you that the other person was reckless and negligent, but it may not be to a judge or jury.

Hiring an attorney ensures you eliminate as many blind spots as possible in your case. You are not only hiring a lawyer’s experience, knowledge, and expertise; you’re also hiring them for the outside perspective they can bring to your case.

Recommending Video: Gary Discusses What You Need to Know About Hiring a Lawyer

You Are More Likely to Get a Satisfactory Outcome with a Lawyer

According to the insurance industry’s own research, people who hire attorneys get on average three times more money from insurance companies than those who don’t. This does not necessarily mean you are guaranteed three times the amount an insurer initially offered you, but it does suggest that having a lawyer working hard on your case dramatically improves your chances of getting the compensation you are entitled to.

Is It Ever Okay to Represent Yourself?

If you have been involved in a minor accident with no injuries, you might be able to improve upon the amount initially offered to you by the insurance company without an attorney and without going to trial. It requires providing evidence and standing firm on the case you are presenting to the insurance company, but it is doable.

When you have suffered serious injuries, the stakes are much higher and the need for a dedicated attorney increases exponentially.

Recommended Reading: 5 Questions to Ask a Lawyer Before Hiring Them

Don’t Risk It. Talk to an Attorney Instead.

Maybe you have heard the adage, “the man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” As harsh as this saying might sound, it speaks to the importance of having an objective, dedicated advocate to handle your case.

At The Law Offices of Gary Bruce, we suggest that if the stakes are high in your case, you should at least reach out to an experienced attorney to discuss your case in a free consultation.

Our personal injury lawyers represent clients throughout Georgia and Alabama, and we are happy to discuss your case in a free case assessment. Contact us today to get started.