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Reasons Not to Represent Yourself in a Personal Injury Claim


Fighting for a personal injury claim after an accident can be a daunting pursuit. Fighting for personal injury damages without the aid of an experienced personal injury attorney can add a lot of “pain” to the injuries you've already accumulated from the accident. Even if you do manage to negotiate or win damages, it is very likely that without an experienced accident attorney fighting for you, you may leave damages on the table after all is said and done.

This blog post lays out 4 key reasons why it's always a good idea to have the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney when fighting for damages following an accident:

Lack of Experience

In many cases, when you go up against a battery of attorneys representing an insurer following an accident, most people find themselves out of there element when trying to negotiate a fair settlement in the wake of an accident. Personal injury attorneys are typically experienced negotiators. They understand the “pain” points of their counterparts. They share a perspective of the at-fault party's legal position that you may not be privy to, which informs significantly on the value of disposing of the case.

Could be Very Costly

Without the benefit of experienced personal injury law counsel to adequately assess the merits of your case, it could cost you considerably to pursue a lawsuit in an injury case. The fact is not every accident case involves personal injury liability. In some automobile injury cases, for instance, both parties share some responsibility in the accident. Just because one person suffers the greatest loss does not mean they are entitled to damages from the other party. Illinois recognizes Modified Comparative Negligence, which dictates that when two parties are determined to share fault in an accident, both parties are liable for a percentage of the damages assessed in direct proportion to their portion of responsibility in causing the accident. So, if a court found that you bore 20% of the responsibility for an accident in which you suffered injury and losses, the at-fault party may only be held liable for as much as 80% of the damages in your case. And with Modified Comparative Negligence, if you are deemed to be 50% or more responsible for the accident in question, you are not entitled to any damages from the other party.

Starting your pursuit of injury damages with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure you are pursuing a case that will not drain you financially with little hope of recovering compensation.

Not Always Aware of the Full Scope of Damages

Not limited to medical treatment or even pain and suffering, experienced personal injury attorneys understand that future injuries or damages may come into play and know when they should be accounted for in a negotiation. Without that knowledge and experience, an individual representing themselves in a personal injury case is in danger of leaving thousands, if not more, on the table and being left out in the cold should their medical condition worsen or should they suffer added losses later (i.e. loss of enjoyment due to trauma, loss of consortium, or even lost wages or employability).

Because of that, insurers often offer plaintiffs a swift settlement in an effort to limit the damages to which they could be found liable. Claimants are often in a highly susceptible position, often in need for ready cash, relieved to have an up-front offer made at the outset. Accepting such an offer typically involves signing a release barring the plaintiff from further damages at a later date. Of course, if future damages do materialize (as in the case of soft tissue injuries), the full cost becomes their burden and their burden only.

If you have been the victim of a car accident or suffered injury at the hands of another's negligence, call the attorneys of Panio Law Offices in Chicago. We offer skilled, compassionate lawyers who have a wealth of experience in personal injury law and will work assiduously to ensure we recover the highest damage awards to which you are responsible. Call us today at (708) 928-8680 and speak with an attorney. Consultation is free and we never collect a fee unless we recover damages for you.

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