Should you represent yourself in a Kansas court in an auto accident case? While you are certainly permitted to represent yourself in a lawsuit for personal injuries suffered in a Kansas car accident, this does not mean that it is a good idea. It is appropriate to represent yourself in some limited situations like a small claims court case involving minimal property damages and no injuries. One of the main reasons why small claims courts exist is to provide a forum for litigating simple cases with relatively small sums at stake. However, this approach is not appropriate for Kansas auto accident claims involving damages in excess of $4,000.
Virtually any Kansas car accident that involves injuries will involve damages in excess of this nominal sum. If you are involved in a car accident and suffer any injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. It is critical to determine the extent and seriousness of your injuries, which will help you determine how to proceed. If you are diagnosed with an injury that will require treatment beyond minor scratches and bruises, you should seek the advice of an experienced Kansas car accident lawyer.
A layperson who tries to handle his or her own Kansas car accident will find navigating the court system complex as it is governed by formal rules of procedure and evidence that are complicated and confusing. For example, the hearsay rule, which generally bans the use of out of court documents or testimony that quotes a third party for purposes of proving what is asserted, has 23 exceptions under Kansas law. When it comes to the procedural and substantive complexities of navigating civil litigation in a personal injury lawsuit, the insurance company will have an experienced attorney representing its policyholder.
Most laypersons who attempt to handle their own case in a Kansas auto accident lawsuit will have a difficult time even having their case heard on its merits because the insurance company’s attorney will seek to have the case dismissed on a demurrer, motion for summary judgment or some other preliminary procedural motion. Many times the insurance company will be successful despite the merits of your Kansas auto accident claim. The insurance company knows that a layperson is likely to have his or her car accident lawsuit dismissed and will typically not offer any reasonable settlement because it does not fear the possibility of losing and having to pay a more significant judgment.
If you hire an experienced Kansas auto accident lawyer, you level the playing field. A Kansas personal injury attorney will be well versed in what factual evidence is necessary to prevail as well as the procedural and evidentiary requirements for successfully presenting that evidence. Your Kansas car crash attorney will know how to evaluate a proposed settlement offer from the insurance carrier based on prior judgments and settlements in similar cases. The insurance company will also be more inclined to offer a reasonable settlement offer because there is a genuine risk of a substantial jury verdict.
One reason that some Kansas auto accident victims are reluctant to hire an attorney is that they are concerned with the cost of hiring a personal injury attorney. This should never be a concern in a Kansas personal injury lawsuit because virtually all attorneys handle car accident cases on a contingent fee basis. “Contingent” means the payment of any fee is contingent on success. If you do not win, you do not pay any legal fees. If you do win, the Kansas auto accident law firm simply recovers a percentage of the judgment.
It is a good sign if an attorney agrees to take your case on a contingent fee basis because attorneys cannot afford to take bad cases on contingent fee agreements. If you have been involved in a Kansas auto collision resulting in significant property damage or any injuries that require medical care, you should promptly contact a Kansas City car accident lawyer.
You can also check out our article on Emotional Distress, which outlines possibilities on making a personal injury claim.