Yes, you have the right to represent yourself when negotiating a slip and fall accident settlement with the insurance company or litigating your case in court in Virginia. However, you would not be making a good decision if you made this choice. You are much more likely to obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries if you retain an experienced premises liability accident attorney.
Reasons Why It Would Be a Mistake to Represent Yourself in a Slip and Fall Accident Case
There are many reasons why you should not represent yourself when filing a claim with a negligent business or property owner’s insurance company. Here are the top reasons why hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is in your best interests:
- Preserving evidence. You will need evidence to prove the business or property owner’s negligence caused your fall, the seriousness of your injuries, and the compensation you are entitled to. A lawyer handling slip and fall cases will know what evidence you need and how to obtain it.
- Valuing your claim. You are entitled to recover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in your settlement with the insurance company. It would be extremely difficult for you to determine your future damages and how much the pain and suffering portion of your claim is worth without the help of an attorney.
- Negotiating your settlement. The insurance adjuster could try to take advantage of you if you try to negotiate your settlement on your own. They could get you to agree to give a recorded statement, provide them with access to all your medical records, or accept a lowball settlement offer. Your lawyer would fight for your rights and have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments to deny, delay, or devalue your claim.
- Understanding of the law. Your attorney would understand the Virginia laws that apply to your case, including the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to file your lawsuit.
- Litigating your case. It would be very challenging to represent yourself if you had to file a lawsuit and litigate your claim. A lawyer would know the laws and court procedures that must be followed and how to try your case at a jury trial if necessary.
Do you need to file a claim for injuries you suffered in a slip and fall accident in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our dedicated premises liability attorneys will aggressively fight for your right to compensation and are not afraid to take your case to trial if this is in your best interests. To schedule your free initial consultation, call our Norfolk office at 757-625-1214 or complete our online form today.