Should I Represent Myself After My Car Accident, or Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?

"A person who represents himself has a fool for a client." - Abraham Lincoln

For most cases, Lincoln was absolutely correct. But in simple car accident cases involving simple injuries, you can probably do almost as well as a lawyer and save a lot of money in the process. The truth is that lawyers typically can’t add enough value to smaller car accident claims to support their fees. But there are two important questions you need to ask before deciding to represent yourself:

  1. Can my accident be handled as an insurance claim? As long as you are not approaching your state’s statute of limitations, you can probably handle the case on your own as an insurance claim. All this means is that you are trying to settle the matter with the insurance company without going to court. As long as you don’t give a statement, there’s little downside to at least try to get the best offer you can from the insurance company. If you are unsure whether the offer is fair you can always contact a lawyer or to get a second opinion before accepting it. If you decide you want to handle your own insurance claim, you can use our free online claims software to make sure that you have everything you need to get a fair settlement.

  2. Does a lawsuit need to be filed? If you are close to your statue of limitations, your accident is complex, or you have not been able to settle your case with the insurance company, you will likely have to file a lawsuit. Handling a lawsuit is complicated and should generally be left to lawyers. We don’t recommend representing yourself in court. So if your case involves filing a lawsuit, find a qualified lawyer to represent you.