Do I really need an attorney for a personal injury case? 95 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I was wondering whether I can file and process my petition for personal injury on my own.

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David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
You can. However, if you have to file suit and go to court, you will be at a great disadvantage and I cannot see a favorable outcome without an attorney.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 8/14/2012
Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
Anyone is allowed to represent him or herself. It is not an advisable decision in this or any legal matter as you will be held to the same standard as a licensed attorney and I can assure you that it will be very difficult to prevail.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 8/7/2012
Evan Guthrie Law Firm
Evan Guthrie Law Firm | Evan Guthrie
It is a good idea to have a personal injury attorney represent you to make sure you get the most and not taken advantage of.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 7/30/2012
Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
You can file on your own and choose to represent yourself, but you are at the mercy of the insurance company that has more experience, more money and more time than you might. You would be much better off with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 7/27/2012
Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
Absolutely, as a licensed attorney can guide a client through the judicial process and related negotiation/resolution of the matter, resulting in equitable compensation for the injured. If the matter should be brought to trial, a licensed attorney has a better knowledge of civil procedure and evidence rules, etc.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 7/27/2012
    Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
    Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
    The answer depends on the case. Some cases are simple and straightforward, and involve so little money that it makes no sense to bring in an attorney. Some are not so simple. It takes knowledge and experience to see the difference. A couple of months ago, a neighbor asked if I could help: last year, he filed a claim and negotiated a settlement, all by himself, and was very proud of it. Now, he needs a major surgery because of that trauma, and will be unable to work for several months - but the insurance company does not even talk to him, because his claim was settled... Another guy received ridiculously small settlement even though the injury left him permanently impaired. When I asked him why did he accept the settlement, he said that the nice lady at the insurance company explained to him that it was all he could possibly get, and even shown him some papers confirming it. Talk to a specialist. Most attorneys practicing in this field will offer you a free initial consultation. And most are sensible enough and honest enough to tell you if your case is so simple and straightforward that you can do it yourself.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    You have the right to represent yourself in your personal injury case. However, if you are not a lawyer, it is doubtful that you would know how to do it correctly. You would have to know how to prepare pleadings, know what deadlines have to be met, know how to prepare and argue motions, know how to respond to the defendant's motions, know how to prepare jury instructions, know the local Court procedures, and you would have to know the substantive law involved in your case, and many other things that a lawyer has learned over the years. Unless the value of your case is too small to justify the expense of an attorney, I advise you to hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    NOLAN LAW LLC | Joshua J. Nolan
    A person generally has the right to represent themselves in any court proceeding. However, as Abraham Lincoln said, a person who represents himself has a fool for a client. It is very difficult for one to be objective about their own claim. And if you are unable to settle your claim quickly, the legal process can be extremely complex. So, although you have the right to represent yourself in a personal injury case, I would encourage you to consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Jeffrey Lessin
    Jeffrey Lessin | Jeffrey Lessin
    You can certainly try to handle the case yourself. However, although you think the process may be simple, it is not.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Timiney Law Firm
    Timiney Law Firm | Leigh Anne Timiney
    You don't absolutely have to retain an attorney to pursue a personal injury case. However, it is probably in your best interest to have an attorney. Personal injury cases can be difficult to manage and often times there is more to it than just agreeing on an amount to be paid and settling the case. The injured party often has legal obligations as well, which you may not be aware of if you are handling a case on your own. The insurance company has a professional on their side, so should you. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. It would be in your best interest to make an appointment with one.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I don't think there is any way that you could effectively represent yourself.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Not likely. Unrepresented people will never see fair value for their cases. Get an attorney if you can.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    Only if you feel capable of doing legal brain surgery on yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    There are many ways an experienced personal injury lawyer can enhance the presentation and value of your claim for damages, such as focusing on the important legal issues, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of both the claimant and the defense, knowing the law and the Supreme Court and Local Rules that apply, having experience with juries and jury trials, and having experience bringing a set of facts in their best light for settlement negotiations or mediation. The more serious your injury, the more important it is to be well-represented by a competent personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Lapin Law Offices
    Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
    You do not have to have an attorney to pursue a personal injury case for yourself. You can negotiate with the insurance company and file a lawsuit, if necessary, all on your own. However, if you do handle a case yourself you will be at a disadvantage. Insurance adjusters are trained to handle claims and many have considerable experience. They know various "tricks" and ways to try and devalue your case. This also have much more knowledge about the value of cases. In addition, if you have to file a lawsuit the insurance company will hire an attorney for their insured so you will be at a further disadvantage. If you represent yourself in any court, other than Small Claims Court, you are still bound by all of the rules of civil procedure and evidence. Judges and other court personnel cannot give you legal advice. While you can handle your personal injury case yourself, you should consider at least consulting with a personal injury attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    I doubt any layperson knows enough about the practice of law to be able to effectively handle their own district court case. Even lawyers hire personal injury lawyers, but if in small claims you can probably handle it, although I would not be surprised if you make mistakes.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    You can but, you will be at a huge disadvantage. Proceed at your own risk. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    No individual can successfully represent themselves in a complex claim. The insurance company is trained to deny deny deny your claim.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Yes, you can. However, it is not recommended. The old saying, "A person who represents himself has a fool for a client.." is quite true in most instances. This is especially true if you have never dealt with this type of situation before and are not familiar with the process. Ignorance of the court rules and/or rules of civil procedure is no excuse if you slip up.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    Sam Hochberg & Associates | Sam Hochberg
    For many reasons, it's wise to hire a personal injury lawyer. At LEAST have a free consultation with a lawyer who handles personal injury as their main area of the law. If by "file a petition" you mean filing a lawsuit, I'd say that's very dangerous, without legal training. If you mean trying to settle the claim with the insurance company, it's still a dicey proposition to do it on your own. The insurance companies KNOW that you DON'T KNOW all the angles involved, who gets reimbursed for medical, what the value of a given type of injury is, etc, etc. You can look at the FAQ on my website, below, for more info and reasons NOT to do it on your own. Good luck, though!
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/26/2012
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Gebler & Weiss, P.C. | Jerrie S. Weiss
    You can file it on your own but it is never a good idea unless you have some litigation experience or know all the court rules.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    Probably not. There are myriad rules and pitfalls for the untrained and unwary. Trying to save money will likely result in losing everything.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
    A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
    Practicing as your own attorney is allowed in the court system which currently exists. The problem would be your like of familiarity with local rules, county rules, district court rules, state rules and the various codes of civil procedure, evidence and any other applicable laws which are both statutory and case law. Unless you are willing to learn the rules and the law your ability to properly present your claim or your request for damages the procedural details themselves will likely prevent a court from hearing your case in a trial setting. The judicial system is not in place to help people who represent themselves and to make sure the self-represented are provided opportunities to figure out what to do and how to do it. Instead the court is going to follow the rules of law and the applicable law whether you understand it or appreciate it. So the answer is yes, you can bring your own case. The real question I what do you plan to do to properly present your case to the court after filing the case? "Social justice cannot be obtained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create." Pope John Paul II
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Yes for sure: The insurance co. is represented.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz | Craig L. Pankratz
    You can do it on your own. But your rights are better protected if you hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Nwokoye Law Firm
    Nwokoye Law Firm | Violet Nwokoye
    You definitely can file any petition yourself as long as you know what to file and the local rules in your county.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Bannon Mediation and Arbitration | Albert J. Bannon
    Generally, the insurance company will offer you far less than a competent attorney may be able to negotiate for you or file a lawsuit to convince them your case is worth more than they offer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
    Trying to handle a personal injury case by yourself for yourself is a lot like trying to operate on yourself to save the price of doctors' fees. It might be possible, but it's a very bad idea. If there is an insurance adjustor working for the other side (not to mention a lawyer), you will be eaten alive and not even realize it. Insurance adjustors will offer you peanuts to settle a case and convince you that what they are offering is more than you would get if you go to court and you should be happy you got an offer at all. The fact that you used the word "petition" referring to what you would file for yourself is a good indication that you will be very much in over your head if you try to handle the matter yourself. If liability is favorable to you and if the defendant is insured and/or has the funds to pay damages if you win, you are far better served finding an attorney to handle the matter for you, and there are lots of them around. If you meet one and don't like his terms (or anything else about him), keep looking until you find one right for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Law Offices of Mark Hopkins | Mark Hopkins
    1. Although there is no legal requirement for an individual person to be represented by an attorney, in my 32 years of experience, having an attorney often results in a recovery of no less than 200% to 300% more than if you attempt to negotiate with the insurance company yourself regarding bodily injury claims. 2. You may file your own personal injury lawsuit by paying a filing fee in excess of $435 and preparing your own legal complaint listing your name and address as "in pro per". Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Dunn & Sheldrick, PS | Arin Dunn
    You could go to the law library and study how to do it. However, its kind of like doing your own dental work. You might be able to do it, but you just might not have the right tools to do it correctly or efficiently. Its often more efficient to hire someone that has prior experience, training, and education to do a job that can be very complex and difficult. There are somethings people can do legally speaking on their own with a reasonable rate of success. This is often not one of them. Simply put, defendants and insurance companies do not often prefer to pay out on claims unless there are benefits for doing so.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    You are not required to have an atty, but it will be in your best interest to do so. You would perform your own surgery. Insurance companies are in the business of saving money. They know many attorneys are capable of litigating the matters when you would not be. The attorney knows the legal issues and the areas that provide e the best value in your case. You will most likely receive pennies on the dollar that you would have with an atty.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    It's much smarter to have an attorney handle it for you and you will most likely get a better result from having an attorney handle it, even after the attorney takes out his or her fees.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    Yes you need one.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Gingo & Orth | George Gingo
    No, a lot of people like giving away money. Use a lawyer only if you want to maximize your recovery.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    You can file your petition (really a complaint) on your own but to do so would be a grave mistake because the insurance company will have a lawyer and the lawyer will make the case so difficult for you that in all likely hood the case will be dismissed against you.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Ford, Howard & Cornett, P.C. | Bradley Cornett
    An individual has the legal right to file a lawsuit pro se; that is, without an attorney. If you do so, you are held to the same standard as an attorney; so you should not do so unless you are very familiar with the litigation process and capable of representing yourself. Otherwise, your opposition (likely represented by counsel) will take advantage of your lack of expertise. The old saying goes the person who represents himself has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Howes & Anderson, P.C.
    Howes & Anderson, P.C. | Ronald Anderson
    Anyone can represent themselves in Court. However it is often very difficult to comply with all the Court rules and prosecute your case in a manner which will bring the highest settlement or judgment without the assistance of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 7/25/2012
    Posternak Blankstein & Lund, LLP | Michael Eliot Rubin
    You can certainly represent yourself, just as you can on any case. Statistics and experience says that usually results in a smaller settlement to the injured party.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Paris Blank LLP
    Paris Blank LLP | Irving M Blank
    You can, but remember the old admonition that he who represents himself has a fool for a client. You definitely need an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Reeves Aiken & Hightower | Arthur K. Aiken
    You need an attorney. Several studies have shown that injured claimants net more money with an attorney than without an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    You certainly can but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have experience and competence in dealing with insurance companies.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Merdes & Merdes, P.C.
    Merdes & Merdes, P.C. | Ward Merdes
    Of course you can "file and process" your own personal injury claim. It is called proceeding "pro se" and is authorized. The real question, if I may respectfully suggest, if whether you WANT to proceed on your own. Paying an attorney 1/3 to prosecute your claim is usually smart where: (1) the claim warrants attorney attention (is significant); and (2) the attorney knows what he/she is doing. It's like this: I "can" build my own home ... I am physically capable. I know how to use a hammer, a shovel and a saw. But, would I ever want to actually live in a home that I built? Not likely. It is just not what I do. I'm a terrible carpenter. Think of correctly prosecuting a personal injury claim the same way. It is difficult. Insurance companies fight HARD. To do it right, an attorney has to be smart, experienced and willing to work. It's a David-Goliath battle zone... and you are not Goliath. Keep your eye on the Statute of Limitations to avoid blowing deadlines. Call a few attorneys. See if you can find somebody you like and trust. If your injury is serious, I strongly recommend that you find somebody to help you build this house.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    You need one. Neither the judge or opposing lawyer can or should help you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    Insurance companies may not treat you fair in a settlement without an attorney. It is in your best interest to get an attorney to handle the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Law Office of Dean B. Gordon
    Law Office of Dean B. Gordon | Dean B. Gordon
    It is not legally required, but would you perform surgery on yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    This is a tricky business and there is no room for do-it-yourselfers. There are many rules, procedures, exceptions, requirements etc. and it is very easy to get tripped up. You would be up against professional insurance people, lawyers who know what they're doing and rules upon rules upon rules that you don't know anything about. If you retain a lawyer you will be much more likely to get the right result.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    Certainly you can handle your own case. You can also perform medical procedures on yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    You should at least consult with a personal injury lawyer for legal advice and assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    You can always file on your own but I don't recommend it. there are procedures, deadlines and other requirements that can be, and usually are, complicated and potentially fatal to your claims.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Would you perform surgery on yourself or someone you love? Would you try to fly an airplane without knowing how to fly? If the answer to those question is "NO," then you know the answer to your question. The other side will have a lawyer, and that lawyer will not cut you any slack as to the law and procedures that you do not know. If you go into the fight by yourself, the other side will try to beat you to death with the rules, and since you do not know them, you will probably lose. Do it yourself lawyers are very, very foolish.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    No, you don't need an attorney. Call the courthouse and ask for the site where the lawsuit forms are kept. Fill them out and send them back to the court.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Koning & Jilek, P.C.
    Koning & Jilek, P.C. | Jonathan Neal Jilek
    Litigating on your own is like performing surgery on yourself. It is a very bad idea. Litigation is a specialty. There are complicated rules and requirements that personal injury lawyers can handle.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You can. You may have to do that if the value is within the small claims amount. If you believe the potential recovery is greater, hire an attorney. It is the wise thing to do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Durkin & Graham, P.C.
    Durkin & Graham, P.C. | Joan Durkin
    Well if you have gotten so far as to have to go to the courthouse without a lawyer, it may be too late. Specifically, if you were not being advised about documentation to keep and medical records needed, you may have weakened your case to the point that a lawyer won't take it. The lawyer often can resolve the case without having to file suit. It is never advisable to go into a lawsuit without a lawyer but if it is a small claim you could probably handle it yourself in JP or small claims court.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    There are few instances in law where you are required to have an attorney. However, they say the person who represents him/herself has a fool for a client. Statistically you get more money with an attorney than without. And an attorney will be able to understand what your rights are and what you are entitled to, where you might not know all these things and the insurance company could take advantage of you.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Shaw Law Firm
    Shaw Law Firm | Steven L. Shaw
    Yes, you can represent yourself. No, I don't recommend it. There are too many places along the way where you will run into questions you cannot answer. And ultimately, the insurance companies know that their odds of beating you are much greater if you are not being represented by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C.
    Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. | Steven Fairlie
    I have never been brought a Pennsylvania Personal Injury case where I could not get an offer at least one third higher than the offer that the company had extended to the client, and frequently I can get much higher than that. Do the math and get a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Ricks & Associates | Kenneth R. Ricks
    If your personal injury claim has any value above $10,000 then absolutely you need an attorney. I assume you are negotiating with an insurance company and they are trained/motivated to take advantage of every facet of your claim, especially that you are not represented and thus do not know the true value of your claim and the law necessary to collect.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    You may file your own claim but you must select the proper forum where you have jurisdiction over the defendant. All courts have and rules an procedures you will have to follow. If you don't handle your claim properly you may lose your claim or get less.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You can represent yourself in a personal injury case but you must be aware of the pitfalls in doing so. It is not so much that you were injured you must prove that your injuries were directly related to the incident and fall within the law of negligence. The Court system and filing of papers can be burdensome. If you wish to to discuss this matter further you may speak to one of our attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You can try to handle your case on your own. However, the other side (i.e., the insurance company) has handled millions of cases and you have handled zero or one case. This is not something you can learn while you do it (unless you want to get a lot less than the case is worth).
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Harris Law Firm, pc
    Harris Law Firm, pc | Robert Harris
    Yes. You can always represent yourself. My experience is that when an insurance adjustor realizes the injured party doesn't have proper legal representation, they start to salivate. They will low ball you, not inform you of unpaid medical bills, and do everything they can to get you to sign releases of liability for pennies on the dollar. While you may think that paying a third of your settlement to a lawyer is a lot, consider this. Two thirds of something is a lot better than 100% of nothing. Talk to an attorney that does personal injury work.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You may attempt to do so generally persons are representing themselves receive several months which are significantly less than a settlement it would receive a been represented of the attorney fee.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A.
    Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. | Charles Cartwright
    Having an attorney is not a requirement, but I encourage you to research the relative recoveries with and without an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    You do not need an attorney, but studies show that people who use attorneys get significantly larger settlements. PI attorneys are experienced and know how to get the most from an insurance company. Private parties do not have the experience to get them the settlements that an attorney can get.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    You'll be screwed by the carrier but yes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Yanchuck, Berman, Wadley & Zervos, P.A. | Angela A Zervos
    Always wise to have an attorney, as you do not really know what elements of damage you are entitled to and what the reasonable and realistic value of your case is.. Insurance companies often "low ball" unrepresented accident victims.. not always, but usually.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    Do you really need a doctor to remove your appendix.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    You should at least consult with an attorney. They can tell you what your case is worth, and whether it is a case that you can handle on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    If your case is significant, you really need an attorney to help you with it. It's not as easy as it looks on t.v.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S.
    Richard E. Lewis, P.S. | Richard Eugene Lewis
    This depends on the nature and extent of your injuries. Before you file on your own you should at least have a free consult with a personal injury attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    You don't need an attorney if you know what you are doing, but it is highly recommended that you hire one.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You can also take out your own appendix but I don't advise it. If you have a small claim (think Judge Judy court) go ahead and play with it. if you have serious injuries you need a lawyer. he knows the rules. He knows the tricks the insurance company will use against you. most insurance companies will take advanateg of you every way they can. They are in business to make money not help people.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    It is possible to handle it without an attorney. However, I recommend you retain an attorney to ensure that you receive fair compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Goodman & Goodman PA | Bruce Elliott Goodman
    Although there is no requirement that you hire an attorney for a personal injury claim, in my opinion it is highly advisable. Unless you have experience handling personal injury claims you would have no way to evaluate the value of your claim. In addition there are many issues regarding insurance coverage for which an attorney would be extremely helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    While it is certainly possible to do so, I would certainly caution you against it. An experienced attorney will make sure you are compensated fully as the attorney understands the current value of cases and the injuries associated with them. The attorney will also make sure that the insurance company does not take advantage of you (and this happens a lot). There may be items that you are entitled to recover, but the insurance company may not point this out to you. One example is lost earning capacity. One statistic of note: The Insurance Research Council has found that having an attorney on your case, on average, will put an additional 40% recovery into your pocket when your case resolves. The bottom line - the fee you pay an attorney is worth it!
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert
    Law Offices of David W. Hibbert | David W. Hibbert
    You are not required to have an attorney, however, you will be faced with a team of professional insurance adjusters whose jobs depends upon them saving the company as much as possible which is by paying you as little as possible. You may settle your case if you choose to do so , however, once a matter is settled there is no going back for other considerations, damages , injuries which you may have suffered. See a lawyer in your jurisdiction. One of the beauties of the contingent fee system is that a person with a potential claim for damages can consult a competent personal injury attorney and find out whether or not that lawyer thinks it's a winner. It has to be something cost effective before an attorney will invest time and resources in your cause. The contingent attorney's fee of 25%-50% of the recovery has to be taken into account.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You are always welcome to try to process it on your own, but without a background of knowledge like an experienced personal injury attorney has you are at a real disadvantage with the insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Doug Rothschild Injury Lawyers
    Doug Rothschild Injury Lawyers | Doug Rothschild
    If your case is worth less than $5000, probably. Otherwise, without a lawyer you'll likely be in over your head.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    The Law Offices of Barry Regar | Barry Regar
    This question is constantly asked without describing the facts of the accident or the nature and extent of your injuries. Not all accident cases require the assistance of a lawyer. But to state which cases should involve legal representation can't possibly be answered in your case which describes none of the needed information for such an opinion. The best advice I can offer is that you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will most often offer a free consultation to review your case and offer you an opinion about representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP
    Mosley, Engelman & Jones, LLP | Britany M. Engelman
    Yes, you can. But it's better to have an experienced professional attorney handling your case. Would you fix the brakes on your car yourself or operate on your own foot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    No, But there is an old saying which I will paraphrase; A person or an attorney who represents themselves has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Tuttle and Associates | Jeffrey Brook Tuttle
    You can but you will be out matched by the experience of the adjuster. You will also be overwhelmed by the number of decisions you have to make and you won't know whether any of your choices are right or wrong. If lay people could do what personal injury lawyers do, there wouldn't be any personal injury attorneys. Statistically, people represented by counsel are paid 5 to 7 times more than unrepresented claimants.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban
    Law Offices of Steven D. Urban | Steven D. Urban
    As an individual, you have a right to represent yourself if you wish. However, you do so at your own peril. Even trained attorneys are often cautioned against representing themselves. There is an old adage in the legal community that the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    David Francis Law
    David Francis Law | David Francis
    You've probably heard the saying "he who represents himself has a fool for a client." Yes, you can file without the assistance of an attorney. In our, albeit biased, opinion, you are much better off working with an attorney. At the very least, meet with an attorney for an initial consultation. Most initial consultations are free, so you really have nothing to lose. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C.
    Law Offices of Tanya Gendelman, P.C. | Tanya Gendelman, Esq.
    Yes, you really do need an attorney for a personal injury case. The law is complex and you could mess up your case without an experienced personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Would you do your own "surgery" or would you hire a doctor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    Brankey & Smith, P.C. | Rodney L. Smith
    Unless a personal injury case involves little or no injuries, most people need an attorney to move forward in a case. The insurance companies have attorneys on staff, and you will be at a great disadvantage if you do not.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/24/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    You can try. That would be a mistake but you can try.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 7/24/2012
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