ARE THERE SOME CASES I CAN OR SHOULD HANDLE MYSELF?

ANSWER: Yes. While there is no hard and fast rule, we will usually tell you that minor injury matters are best handled through your local county small claims court, which does not require a lawyer. The circuit clerk in your county is required by law to assist you in filing a small claims petition and serving the other side. You will usually receive a prompt hearing before a judge which is very much like the “Peoples Court” television program except you have the right to ask questions of the other side as they do of you.

There are other situations in which you may not need a lawyer on the rare occasions when an insurance company or defendant may be willing to settle your case with very little input from an attorney. It is always good, however, to seek the advice of an attorney. A competent and honest attorney should tell you if your situation is one in which you should represent yourself. Mistakes can be made if this is done improperly, such as when there are other potentially responsible parties or theories of recovery that may allow you to maximize your chances for a full and fair recovery. Remember, no matter how friendly the insurance repetitive may sound, he or she is not on your side.