Let’s say you were in a major car accident. You don’t believe the facts support the story that you were the one guilty of causing the accident. Insurance companies and police investigators have concluded differently, however. And worst of all, one of the survivors of the car accident has decided to build a personal injury and wrongful death case against you. Is it possible to defend yourself in court?
First and foremost, you should never even consider defending yourself in court — even if you’re a lawyer yourself. For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re a blue collar worker and not a lawyer. This case could destroy your ability to earn money for your family for the rest of your life, and your family is already barely scraping by just below the poverty line.
You don’t know the law. And without knowing or practicing the law, you won’t have any real ability to preempt the plaintiff’s lawyers by intuiting what their arguments will be or knowing how to counter them even if you did. This is the primary reason to hire a lawyer. They know the law! And they’re already accustomed to fighting certain types of cases in or out of court.
If there were mistakes during a police investigation, your lawyers might be able to find them. They might also be able to negotiate with authorities on your behalf. Remember, if the police found you responsible for the car accident, then a criminal case might also be brewing behind the scenes. Your lawyer can find out if that’s what’s happening — but as an outsider, you won’t be able to do the same.
Another important reason to hire a lawyer? They might be able to negotiate a settlement if it turns out you are, indeed, liable for the accident. No one wants to take a chance in court, and you shouldn’t either.