Ochs Law Firm Blog

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Personal Injury Claim?

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Cheyenne, Wyoming, you have the right to receive compensation for your injuries. Not only can you receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages, but you may also be able to get an additional amount to account for pain and suffering. However, without the help of a skilled car injury lawyer, you’ll find it difficult to win your case. The court system in towns like Casper, Wyoming can be challenging to navigate.

It’s important to act fast if you’ve been injured in a car accident. The longer you wait to file a claim, the harder it becomes to get compensation. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should head directly to court and file a claim on your own. Consider why it’s vital to have a lawyer to help you through this process, and why representing yourself in civil claims is unlikely to produce the results you want.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Personal Injury Claim in Cheyenne, Wyoming?

What the Law Says in Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming

A personal injury lawsuit falls into the category of civil suits. While there may be a criminal case against the driver that caused the accident, for instance in cases of drunk driving, those cases are handled by the state’s prosecutors. Civil suits, on the other hand, are initiated by citizens or their lawyers. Whether you live in a larger city like Cheyenne, Wyoming, or a smaller town like Casper, Wyoming, state law decides how civil suits work throughout the state.

As an independent citizen, you have the right to file a lawsuit. Legally speaking, you aren’t absolutely required to get a lawyer to do so. However, there are many things that can go wrong if you don’t have a car injury lawyer to help you. For example, do you know where you have to file your lawsuit? Wyoming state statutes require you to file suit in either the county where the accident happened or where the defendant lives.
 

Why You Shouldn’t Represent Yourself

That quick example of where you have to file your lawsuit shows how easy it is to make a mistake when you try to sue someone on your own. If you had filed suit in your county, even though the accident happened elsewhere, your case might get dropped by your local court and you’d have to start all over again. You’d have wasted money on court fees and lost precious time in pursuing your settlement.

With an experienced lawyer, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. You’ll have someone to guide you through the process. Relying on an expert’s legal knowledge is better than trying to navigate the legal system for the first time on your own. Furthermore, you’ll increase your chances of success. Wyoming has no limit to the damages you can receive from a personal injury lawsuit, which means that a great lawyer can get you significant compensation for your injuries.
 

Procedural Errors

We’ve helped many clients after they’ve tried to sue on their own. Often, they come to us after their claim has been rejected by the court due to some procedural error. Most people don’t realize that there are different rules in Wyoming depending on who you are trying to sue. For example, if you’re suing a business or individual, you have to file suit within four years of the accident that caused your injuries.

Plaintiffs read this rule and assume they can wait a while. However, what they don’t always know is that if your injury was caused by a government worker, the statute of limitations is much tighter, and that’s not the only difference. You must also provide a written notice to the government office in charge of the employee that injured you. This is just one example of an easy mistake to make.

Lack of Credibility

Even if you know all the rules and think you can file your lawsuit independently, representing yourself hurts your credibility when you finally take your case to trial. Civil suits will call for a jury to decide your case. Juries are, fairly or not, far more likely to believe a lawyer than an individual representing themselves. Having a lawyer by your side shows seriousness and adds legitimacy to your claim.

In addition, there are rules as to what you can and cannot say in court. If you make a mistake, the judge may rule your remarks out of order. That could impact how the jury sees the rest of your arguments. Although the jury is supposed to focus on your case and not judge you as a person, juries are made up of people, and people are imperfect. Representing yourself reduces your chances of getting a win in court.

Better Outcomes With a Lawyer

Perhaps the best reason to get a car injury lawyer from Cheyenne, Wyoming to help you with your case is that you’re more likely to get better compensation if you win. When your lawyer files suit, the defendant will be notified. Once they receive that notification, they can reach out to you to try to settle the case out of court. Most civil suits don’t end in a trial. Instead, the defendant will seek to pay you out of court.

Self-represented individuals are not as experienced with these negotiations and often accept low offers from defendants. The defendant has a lawyer, so you’re at a disadvantage. Your lawyer can push back and try to get you a larger settlement. If your lawyer has an exceptional track record, the defendant is even more likely to cave and offer you more money. If your case does go to trial, you’ll also be more likely to get a larger settlement from the judge.

What Can a Car Injury Lawyer Do to Help?

After a car accident, you should reach out to a car injury attorney. First, your lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding the accident. The goal is to build a case that proves that you were not at fault for the accident. In Wyoming, if you’re mostly at fault, you cannot receive any compensation, so this step is extremely important. If there is clear evidence that you were not at fault, your lawyer can then proceed to file a lawsuit.

From there, your lawyer will help you keep track of damages so that you can recoup these in court. Send any medical bills or receipts for additional expenses to your lawyer so they can log everything and build your case. If the defendant’s lawyers try to negotiate a settlement, your lawyer will fight to get you as much compensation as possible. Should your case go to trial, your lawyer will be ready to convince the jury.

Get Professional Help

By now, the difference between representing yourself and having a lawyer should be abundantly clear. Although you have the right to represent yourself in court, it’s almost never a good idea. Getting the help of a professional lawyer is the best way to get the compensation you deserve.

The Ochs Law Firm has fought and won many personal injury cases, including car injury lawsuits. Contact Ochs Law Firm to schedule a meeting with an attorney today.

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Jason Ochs is a leading Wyoming personal injury lawyer. He has represented class action, pharmaceutical, and medical cases throughout multiple states.

Jason E. Ochs

Jason began his legal career in 2002 with a national multi-district litigation law firm in Newport Beach, California. There he worked on a variety of high-profile, complex-litigation projects including pharmaceutical and medical-device litigation across the country.

The Ochs Law Firm epitomizes professionalism and commitment to all of our clients, regardless of the size of the case or the might of the Defendant. We practice in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and California in personal injury litigation, medical malpractice, defective products, class action lawsuits, Qui Tam lawsuits, litigation across multiple districts, bad faith insurance, and civil litigation.

We look forward to providing top quality service and representation for you and your family.