Why hire a personal injury attorney?

In a personal injury incident, the victim may have serious injuries and damages. The harm from the accident may have resulted in physical injuries, financial hardship and emotional damages. The injured party may be entitled to receive compensation from the at-fault party for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

When an injured party decides to file a personal injury lawsuit, they have the option to hire an attorney or represent themselves. A person who represents themself in a lawsuit is called a pro se litigant. Pro se means “on one’s own behalf.” A person that represents themself in their lawsuit must follow the same court rules and procedures as a practicing attorney.  

The knowledge of Pennsylvania laws, regulations and court rules that an attorney has comes from years of legal education and practice. Under state law, a lawyer must provide competent representation to his client, which includes:

  • Legal knowledge
  • Skill
  • Thoroughness
  • Preparation

Therefore, a pro se litigant must understand, apply and comply with Pennsylvania law when filing and representing their personal injury lawsuit. However, lawsuits are time-consuming and complicated. A victim recovering from injuries from an accident may not have the physical ability to perform legal work, including drafting documents and going to the courthouse regularly. While some people cannot work after an accident, those who continue to work may not have time to get off from their jobs to work on their personal injury lawsuits.  

The legal process of a lawsuit contains many steps that require a massive amount of time, attention and specialized knowledge of the law. Pennsylvania law expects a pro se litigant to:

  • File the lawsuit in the appropriate court
  • Interpret the law
  • Gather and introduce evidence
  • Prepare legal documents
  • Negotiate a settlement

Because a person representing themselves must follow the same rules and laws as attorneys, the court may dismiss or force the pro se party bringing the lawsuit to start over if any legal steps are missed. Therefore, it is best to hire an attorney that specialized in personal injury cases. They have the time, experience and knowledge to represent you and protect your rights.  

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