Go to navigation Go to content

You've been injured in a car accident in New York. Should you handle your own case?


A: You could. You could save money by handling it on your own. This way you would not have to pay an attorney fee.

Of course, before you make that bold decision, make sure you have a thorough knowledge and understanding of what law applies in your car accident case. Remember, every state and municipality has their own rules and regulations. The rules of the road are different from place to place. As long as you understand and know exactly what laws apply in your particular case, then you might be okay to handle the case on your own.

But wait...
Before you take that bold step of handling your case on your own, make sure you fully understand the actual procedure that goes into evaluating whether you have a valid case. Make sure you truly understand what defenses the person who caused your accident can raise to throw your case off track. If you do not know how to combat those defenses, you are in for a big problem. So again, if you know how to do all that, then by all means you might want to handle your case on your own.

But wait...
When deciding whether to handle a New York lawsuit on your own, make sure you know exactly how much time you have file a lawsuit and what procedure to follow. Do you know what papers must be filed in court in order to start your lawsuit? Make sure you truly understand how and where to serve the papers so that the person who caused your accident will receive them. Importantly, you have to understand how to draft a summons and complaint and know what causes of action to include within each one.

Are you going to include a negligence claim? Will you include a violation of rules and regulations and laws? Will you include a claim for loss of services? Would there be a claim for wrongful death if someone died? As long as you understand how to do that properly, then go right ahead and handle this on your own.

But wait...
Do you know what to do when you receive the answers on behalf of the people you are suing? Do you know what documents must be filed in court in order to get to a scheduling conference known as a preliminary conference? On the day of your preliminary conference, do you know what has to be done in order to protect your rights? Do you know what documents have to be exchanged and provided to the defense before your preliminary conference? Do you know what a bill of particulars is and how to draft one?

There are many more things that you need to know, and if you have experience in handling these types of cases on a daily basis, then you are well-equipped to handle your own matter.

However, if you are like most people who do not handle this type of work on a daily basis and have no experience doing so, then it is highly recommended that you do not handle this on your own, but rather hire an experienced negligence and accident trial lawyer to handle it for you.

Let me ask you another question.

When your car breaks down, do you bring it back to your house, put it up on blocks and spend the next three weeks working on it or do you tow it to your local car repair shop and have them fix it?

When you have a leak in your roof do you climb up in the middle of a storm to fix it? Or do you hire a contractor to come and fix it for you? When your plumbing is broken do you spend eight hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon trying to fix it or do you call a local plumber who fixes it in half an hour?

The choice is yours. The best advice I can give you is a hire a trusted attorney with great deal of experience handling these cases everyday.