Filing a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer: 3 Pros and Cons

Why not hire a lawyer?

No one ever expects to find themselves in a situation that requires filing a personal injury lawsuit. But for many, that’s the unfortunate reality. In some cases, you may feel like your hands are tied and the only option is to take your case to trial without an attorney. That is why it is highly recommended to hire legal assistance, like Rockford personal injury attorney.

A personal injury claim can involve physical or psychological injuries or lost wages due to the negligence of another. It can involve damages ranging from medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional distress, and future treatment costs. Filing a claim without the aid of legal counsel may work if claimants are able to assemble all necessary evidence and prepare a well-supported case on their own behalf. However, many difficulties may arise as claimants pursue their claims with self-representation.

  • Cost savings: Representing yourself will generally allow you to save on costly attorney fees. When it comes to complex civil law matters like personal injury lawsuits, it behooves injured parties to be aware of some common court procedures as well as the process for seeking damages from at-fault parties.
  • Legal Representation Alternatives: If cost is an issue, there are still legal representation alternatives such as free legal clinics offered by local law schools or reduced fees from attorneys. These alternative sources can prove invaluable in helping you understand how the legal process works and what damages and compensation you might be entitled to receive.
  • Choice of Representation: You may have concerns about being represented by someone other than an experienced attorney who specializes in this area of law – when filing without one, you will have control over who represents your case throughout every stage on the way up to trial if needed, allowing more personalized attention throughout the case.

What are the cons?

In addition to having to become knowledgeable in the laws and procedures of the court in which your case is filed, there are several other downsides to attempting to litigate your own case.

  1. While representing yourself you will likely not obtain full and fair compensation for your damages. An experienced attorney with thorough knowledge of personal injury law can provide you with insight into every possible avenue for obtaining full compensation, as well as understand how best to present your case in order to secure such compensation.
  2. If a settlement agreement is eventually reached without going through a trial, it’s important that it be structured in such a way that best meets all parties’ needs and interests. An experienced lawyer will understand how best to do this whereas representing yourself may result in an attempt at negotiation that overlooks critical elements or does not provide adequate protection for your rights as an accident victim.
  3. Because it can be extremely difficult (and sometimes nearly impossible) for self-represented persons to understand how courts handle their cases or how best to appeal against unfavorable outcomes, pro se litigants must prepare themselves adequately beforehand and be cautious of potential pitfalls they may overlook throughout their litigation process.


While it is possible to file a successful personal injury claim without an attorney, it is better to have help navigating the complexity of litigation, especially if you are up against experienced representatives on the other side. For most people, hiring a qualified lawyer is the best decision they can make in order to ensure they receive fair compensation for their injury.

Huynh Nguyen

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