Not everyone needs to hire a personal injury lawyer; do you? After an accident ask yourself this question: Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney? Not everyone does. You might be one of those people who doesn't, but be honest about it.
This is a true story. I’ve got a friend who has a job that pays him a lot of money. He has a lot of money in the bank and in the stock market. He requires nothing except more money. He can afford the best lawyers on the planet. But it’s funny, when faced with the adjuster in his wife’s personal injury accident he wouldn’t even hire a lawyer to help settle the property damage claim on her brand new BMW. You might ask why would a guy with so much money balk at paying for legal services. He flat out refused to hire a personal injury lawyer and instead tried playing the role of being his own personal injury lawyer.
When he started asking questions about what to do I was somewhat amused. But watching someone screw up their case is anything but amusing or entertaining.
He’s really good at his job running a major corporation, but when it comes to playing lawyer, he’s terrible at it; he really is. I didn’t tell him that because it would have been wasteful on my part; after all a guy who has no legal training but wants to represent himself has a pretty high opinion of himself and listening isn't something he does well. That and he has a fool for a client. He hasn’t a clue about what he’s doing. So why might a guy with all the money in the world be willing to handle his own personal injury case?
The answer is simple, he can afford to lose.
So long as you can afford to lose you too can play lawyer. Here are the seven skills you need to play lawyer in your own personal injury case. If you have these 7 qualities you don’t need to hire a personal injury lawyer.
The 7 Key Qualities for Self Representation
1. Are you confident you understand the legal issues?
2. Are you confident you understand how to prove damages?
3. Are you confident you will recognize when you're in over your head?
4. Are you familiar with how insurance adjusters act friendly, but they really aren't your friend? Do you know the difference?
5. Can you recognize when you're being fooled into talking too much?
6. Can you just say nothing and still be comfortable with it?
If not then hire a lawyer. But wait, there is one more. And before I tell it to you I want to tell you about toilets. I don't fix leaky toilets I hire a plumber and I think practicing law is a whole lot harder than fixing a toilet. So why would someone who won't fix a toilet try to practice law? I haven't a clue...
And finally, if you’re willing to fool yourself into believing you have these 6 skills, then it’s one simple question left:
7. Can you afford to lose?
If you can then you don't need me or any lawyer for that matter; and the reason is simple, you don’t need the money.
Iowa Courts - Representing Yourself
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