After a car accident, it is natural to look for ways to help you recover all of your losses. For this reason, many may attempt to take over their case and represent themselves in court. Over our years of experience practicing law, we have learned that this may not be the best way to pursue compensation. While nothing can stop you from representing yourself in court, it can easily backfire if you don’t master the law. Our Fayetteville, AR car accident lawyer, Ken Kieklak, invites you to keep reading as we discuss whether you can – and should – represent yourself after your car accident.
Should I Represent Myself After a Car Accident in Arkansas?
Nothing in the law can stop you from representing yourself in a Fayetteville personal injury lawyer after a car accident in Arkansas. However, there are many elements you should consider if you wish to go forward with your case. First, the courts will not guide you through your claim and teach you the ropes of civil procedure. The rules of civil procedure are complex, nuanced, and vast. The court will expect you to dominate the subject matter of your case and will not tolerate any inconveniences that may delay the court’s calendar. Any mistake – no matter how small – can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Here are some of the things an attorney can help you achieve on your case:
Preparing yourself for court takes a lot of time and preparation. For instance, collecting evidence is one of the most time-consuming steps before building the strategy of your case. Car accident claims are notoriously complex due to the many elements involved. As a plaintiff representing yourself, you will need to gather all the necessary evidence to support your claim. This means gathering medical records, witness testimony, contact information from the involved parties, insurance information – and other relevant data. Collecting all of this information can get complicated if you were severely injured. If you wait until you heal from your injuries to file your claim, you may risk your opportunity to get compensation. This process can be extremely challenging. For this reason, it is essential to have an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer by your side.
Negotiating with an Insurance Company
You may want to pursue compensation through a settlement or litigation. Whatever you decide is best for you, it is essential to understand what it takes to get your compensation successfully. You may be able to negotiate and take on the liable party’s insurance. Most insurance companies have skilled lawyers dedicated to protecting their client’s interests, not yours. Negotiating with an attorney for compensation requires skill, knowledge, and experience. If you go in blind, without the knowledge needed to fight for adequate compensation, you may get a lowball offer.
Challenging the At-Fault Party’s Arguments
What happens if the at-fault party decides to fight you on your claim and argue that you were to blame for your car accident? This situation can complicate your case. It is critical to understand that, under Arkansas law, your compensation may be reduced or denied depending on your degree of liability. This does not represent an exhaustive list of the things you need to do to fight for compensation. Representing yourself means being held accountable just as a trained lawyer would be. You should not risk your compensation. Instead, call our Arkansas car accident lawyers.
How Much Compensation Can I Get if I Represent Myself in a Car Accident Claim?
The compensation you may get from your car accident claim will depend heavily on the specific circumstances of your case. If you decide to represent yourself after your crash, you must consider the possibility of not getting any compensation. As we mentioned, you may not get compensation if the defendant in your case proves that you were equally – or even more – responsible for the incident that led to your claim. This principle is known as the “comparative negligence rule.”
Under the comparative negligence rule, your compensation may be reduced or denied. For instance, suppose the court granted you $100,000 in your case. However, you were found 40% liable for your crash. Under these circumstances, you would only get $60,000 as your total compensation. If the court determines that you were equally responsible (50% or more), your compensation may be denied. Understanding how the law works and how you should challenge the other party’s allegations is of the utmost importance. If you don’t want to jeopardize your potential compensation, you should hire an Arkansas car accident attorney.
Your lawyer can help you with all the complexities and nuances associated with your case. For instance, your lawyer can file your car wreck lawsuit on time. According to the statute of limitations in Arkansas, all claimants must file their petition with the court within the established time. Under Arkansas law, you have up to three years to submit your lawsuit. If you represent yourself and miss this time window, your case may be dismissed by the court.
Additionally, your attorney should be able to handle any and every negotiation that may impact your case. This means fighting against insurance companies and the allegations from the liable parties. No matter how simple you think your case may be, it is in your best interest to hire a car accident lawyer who understands the law and can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your severe injuries and losses.
If You Were Injured in a Crash, Contact Our Arkansas Car Accident Attorney About Representation
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is always challenging. This is true not only for the injured victims but also for their families and loved ones. Our Fayetteville, AR personal injury attorney Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, understands how overwhelming your experience can be. However, we can help you take the heavy load off of your shoulders. We can hold the liable parties accountable for your losses and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call our law offices today and schedule your free, confidential consultation at (479) 316-0438.