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What are the Risks of Representing Yourself in a Personal Injury Claim?

What are the Risks of Representing Yourself in a Personal Injury Claim?

Everyone understands legal action can be expensive. If you have suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, it may be tempting to try and save money by pursuing a claim for compensation without legal representation. While an injured person is entitled to make a claim for compensation on their own, there are many valid and compelling reasons why this course of action comes with significant risks that could jeopardise your ability to successfully pursue your own claim.

In this article, we will nominate a few of the key pitfalls for those who self-represent in personal injury claims, demonstrating why seeking the guidance of an experienced compensation lawyer is often the wiser choice.

The law is complex

Personal injury law is a complex area requiring extensive collection of evidence, medical examinations and the meeting of strict deadlines in order for your claim to be accepted. This is why many law firms, including BPC Lawyers, work exclusively in the area of personal injury as their main specialty. Most people do not have the time and knowledge to properly understand compensation law in order to self-represent.

Representing yourself means familiarising yourself with relevant legislation and court rules, as well as the legal processes involved in filing a claim, collecting evidence, and presenting your case effectively. Even seemingly minor missteps or misunderstandings can have severe consequences, potentially weakening your claim or even leading to its outright dismissal.

The danger of undervaluing your claim

Determining the appropriate value of a personal injury claim is a complicated task that is specific to each case and requires a thorough understanding of various factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries, future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Some claims are subject to statutory formulas and thresholds to determine what you may be entitled to, depending on your injury. Without the expertise of a personal injury lawyer, whose job is to understand how compensation claims are quantified , you risk undervaluing your claim and settling for an amount that falls far short of adequately compensating you for your losses.

Gathering and presenting evidence

Every successful personal injury case is built on the foundation of gathering and presenting compelling evidence, including medical records, witness statements, expert testimony, accident and police reports. It is this evidence that will be assessed and weighed by insurance companies and, if an unlitigated agreement cannot be reached, by the court. Without legal training and experience, you may struggle to identify, obtain, and present the necessary evidence in a manner that effectively supports your claim. This can significantly weaken your case and diminish your chances of success. An additional concern on this point is that collecting evidence can be a very time-consuming process. You may not have time to properly gather evidence particularly if you are working and/or recovering from your injury. Strict evidentiary rules also apply.

Dealing with insurance companies

Insurance companies are well-versed and well-resourced in defending personal injury claims and often employ tactics to minimise payouts or deny claims altogether. Insurers employ teams of experienced lawyers working to protect their interests, and as a self-represented claimant, you may find yourself faced with a David-versus-Goliath disadvantage when negotiating with them. Insurers will often insist on extra evidence such as more detailed or specialist medical examinations, potentially lengthening the time it takes to resolve your claim.

Another common problem is an insurance company making an offer which undervalues your claim. Injured people may feel they should take an initial offer from the insurer in order to be finished with the stress and worry of the claim, then only later discovering their claim should have seen them receive a larger amount of compensation.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can level the playing field, negotiating effectively on your behalf and ensuring your rights are protected and your claim is properly valued.

The emotional toll and time-consuming nature of pursuing a claim

Making a compensation claim can be a physically, psychologically and emotionally taxing course of action, particularly if you are still recovering from your injuries. Representing yourself adds an additional layer of stress and responsibility, as you will need to manage the legal aspects of your case while also attending to your physical and emotional well-being. A personal injury lawyer can take on the legal burden, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Contact our team of compensation specialists to discuss your case

At BPC Lawyers, personal injury compensation is our specialty. Our professional team possess specialised knowledge and experience in this area of the law, whatever the nature of your injury.

While representing yourself in a personal injury claim may seem like an attractive option to save on legal fees, the risks significantly outweigh the perceived benefits. The guidance of an experienced personal injury lawyer can significantly increase your chances of securing fair and full compensation for your injuries and losses. By entrusting your case to one of our experienced legal professionals, you can focus on your recovery while we navigate the complex legal landscape on your behalf.