In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
5 Things Your Personal Injury Attorney Can Do (That You Can’t)
You’ve been involved in an accident. Instead of hiring a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer, you are contemplating representing yourself in your personal injury claim or lawsuit. In legalese, this is referred to as “proceeding pro se”. The thought certainly seems tantalizing. After all, how hard can it really be?
The answer: pretty dang hard.
As with any sort of legal proceeding, as the legal plaintiff in your personal injury claim, you certainly possess the right to act as your own legal counsel. The question is whether or not you should. Would you be better off enlisting the assistance of a personal injury attorney who has more legal expertise and experience?
While we would certainly answer this question with an emphatic “Yes!”, in order to assist you in determining which option is best for you, here is a list of five critical things a personal injury attorney can do that you probably won’t be able to:
1. Know What Is Required For Your Case to Be Proven In Court
As the injured victim in a personal injury lawsuit, you more than likely feel as though you possess all of the information required to prove and win your case. However, there is much more to a personal injury claim than simply proving you were injured.
Simply providing evidence of, or testifying about, specific elements of your personal injury claim will not be sufficient. For example, in order to prove your claim, you may be required to bring in an expert witness who can demonstrate that the negligent party responsible for your injuries acted in an unreasonable fashion. There are also specific rules regarding hearsay and what forms of evidence a New Hampshire court can even take into consideration.
2. Negotiate a Fair Settlement
An experienced and skilled NH personal injury attorney can spare a client the uncertainty, expense, and long wait that often accompany jury trials by negotiating a settlement out of court. However, before entering into negotiations with an insurance company, there are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration. This list includes:
§ Your chances of successfully winning your case at trial
§ Settlements and verdicts in similar cases in New Hampshire
§ Potential weaknesses in the evidence on both sides of the trial
§ The true scope of the defendant’s financial resources, as well as their insurance coverage
An experienced attorney can quickly gather and scrutinize this information competently, because this is what they are trained to do. Your lawyer will also be able to negotiate and deal with the defense (and their legal representation), which often is an excruciating headache for those not trained in the field of law.
3. Make Important Deadlines
Each jurisdiction within the United States possesses its own civil procedure code which governs and dictates civil proceedings, including personal injury lawsuits. These civil code procedures can vary widely from one jurisdiction to the next. Included within these codes are specific deadlines for almost everything, ranging from when notices must be served to the opposing side to filing a claim within a jurisdiction’s statute of limitations. In the state of New Hampshire, the statute of limitations is three years from the date the accident occurred.
Failure to file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations that New Hampshire has established can result in your claim’s dismissal. Even once a claim has been properly filed, there are a plethora of other deadlines that must be met. Unfortunately, NH courts usually have no sympathy for pro se plaintiffs who miss (even accidentally) deadlines.
4. Stop Removal to Another Court
Recently, across the United States, a handful of large corporate defendants embroiled in personal injury lawsuits have had, or tried to have, their cases transferred from state to federal court systems. There is a common view that federal courts are friendlier to defendants and are considerably less likely to award large monetary amounts of damages to a plaintiff. An experienced and skilled New Hampshire personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge and skills required to prevent this transfer from occurring. At the same time, he or she will be able to advise you as to when a transfer of courts could work in your favor. Such knowledge can be invaluable.
5. Dealing With the Opposition
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This site does not constitute legal advice. An attorney client relationship is formed only after an agreement is entered into between an Attorney of Liberty Legal and a client is reached. Past results do not guarantee future results.
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Liberty Legal Services PLLC. Main office: 250 Commercial St #3020 Manchester NH 03101. (603) 262-3196