Why You Shouldn’t Go to Court Without a Work Accident Injury Attorney
After a work-related injury, you may be tempted to handle the entire case by yourself and navigate the legal system without a lawyer. This decision will only set you up for more difficulties both in and out of the courtroom. Here’s why you should never go to court without a Houston work accident injury attorney.
Why You Shouldn’t Go to Court Without a Houston Work Accident Injury Attorney
Personal injury cases often take months to prepare. If you go at it alone, expect to double or even triple the amount of time you’ll need to gather all of the necessary evidence, come up with a value for your claim, and bring that claim to the insurance company before the statute of limitations runs out.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. This time goes by fast when you’re doing all of the work yourself.
If you do file your claim and decide to go to trial before the statute of limitations expires, you will have even more deadlines to keep track of. Courts have strict requirements for filing responses and motions with the court. Getting off track with just one court proceeding could put your entire case at risk.
No Expert Network
You should not be the only one testifying if you want to present a well-rounded case in court. You’ll also need statements from authoritative witnesses, including doctors and safety experts, who can back up your claims that the work environment was unsafe and that your injuries are as serious as you say they are.
Finding these expert witnesses on your own can be time-consuming and ineffective. With an attorney, you get access to their network of trusted sources.
Success in the courtroom often has more to do with experience than with intelligence. You will likely make legal mistakes because you have not had years of experience learning all of the nuances of personal injury law.
You may not know how to ensure that all collected evidence is admissible, how to conduct court procedures like cross-examination, and how to defend yourself against objections from opposing counsel. Meanwhile, the employer you’re filing the claim against will likely have a team of lawyers on retainer. These lawyers will have collective decades of experience and access to resources that you can’t get. Save
yourself from getting caught making costly legal errors by working with a team that knows the ins and outs of personal injury law, especially in your state. Learn more about how an expert team can make all the difference for you here.
Low Settlement Offers
Most companies do not want to take any personal injury work claims to court. If you do take your case to trial, the opposing lawyers will likely try to settle the case with you before a verdict is reached. They will know how to time the settlement offer so that you are at your most vulnerable state during the trial and are more likely to accept it. In some cases, upper management at your company may even pressure you to accept a low offer.
This may lead you to accept a settlement that is far below the amount that you are actually entitled to. Hiring a personal injury attorney will protect you from these situations and will help you stay focused on the big picture: getting a fair award amount from the judge or jury.
Being completely prepared with all of the materials for your case is just one-half of what you need to get a high settlement. The other half is successfully handling the courtroom. Fear of public speaking is a phobia that affects up to 75% of the population, which does not bode well for making your case before a room of people. Even if you are confident presenting in front of a group, you’ll likely find that it’s more challenging than you expected to handle the pressure of a trial by yourself.
Opposing counsel can object in the middle of your testimony and prevent you from getting key elements of your case into evidence. Trial judges can interrupt you whenever they feel it necessary, which can be distracting and jarring.
Burden of Proof
You have the hardest job in the courtroom because the burden of proof will fall on you. It is your responsibility to prove that your injuries happened because of your employer by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that it is more likely than not that your version of events is true. This entails showing that the company was negligent under the standards of the law, which is tough without prior legal experience. Ultimately, it’s not worth it to take your work-related injury claim to trial by yourself. You run the risk of getting a much lower settlement offer than you deserve – or worse, none at all. Personal injury lawyers in Houston are happy to help you prepare your case for court so you can focus on your recovery.