If you’ve recently been hurt as a result of another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct you may – very wisely – suspect that you may have grounds upon which to pursue legal action. If you’re strapped for cash, you haven’t had good experiences with lawyers in the past, or you simply like to take initiative, you may be seriously thinking about representing yourself as you seek compensation. To be blunt, this isn’t a good idea.
Overcoming Biases Alone Isn’t Easy
As an experienced Black personal injury lawyer – including those who practice at Council & Associates, LLC – can confirm, it can be extremely difficult for self-represented litigants to overcome biases that exist within the judicial system without experienced, professional legal assistance.
If you’re a person of color, a woman, an immigrant, disabled, you are classified as a minority in any way, you come from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background, or even if you simply express yourself in ways that deviate from the nebulous concept of “the norm,” you may be subjected to conscious and/or subconscious biases from judges, jurors, opposing counsel, and others who can impact the outcome of your case.
To better ensure that these biases are corrected for, you need a lawyer on your side who understands the local legal landscape and how to avoid unfavorable, unjust outcomes rooted in a lack of understanding, compassion, and inclusion.
The Justice System Isn’t Built to Serve Self-Represented Litigants
Additionally, you’ll need professional legal assistance to help you successfully navigate all of the red tape that the judicial system is wrapped in. If you don’t know what paperwork to file, when to file it, where to file it, and how to fill it out properly, your case could be dismissed before you’ve even had a chance to present a single argument. If your case advances to a negotiation phase – and possibly trial – you’ll want someone aggressively pursuing your interests who has years of experience getting results day in and day out.
Insurance Companies Are For-Profit Enterprises
Even if you’re not planning to file a lawsuit related to your recent injury, it’s important to connect with an experienced attorney who can assist you with insurance negotiations. Most people don’t think to call a lawyer when they need to file an insurance claim because they assume that the filing process will be relatively straightforward and standardized. Unfortunately, when it comes to all but the most minor of fender-benders, this assumption generally doesn’t hold water.
Insurance companies, like any for-profit corporations, aim to safeguard their profits in order to both remain operational and to serve their shareholders. As a result, they generally train their staff to avoid paying claimants the full compensation award value to which they’re entitled if possible. In order to serve this goal, insurance claims adjusters may utilize savvy tactics to get you to say something in such a way that you assume more blame for a matter than you should or you imply that you’re not as hurt as you claim to be. By allowing a lawyer to advocate on behalf of your interests, you’ll be far more likely to maximize any compensation to which you’re entitled.