A personal injury case may be settled privately or by filing a lawsuit in an Ohio court. You have the opportunity to either represent yourself or to hire an attorney to represent your interests in a civil matter. The complexity of the case will generally determine whether you choose to hire legal counsel.
The other litigants will likely have legal counsel
If you file a lawsuit in a car accident or medical malpractice case, the defendant is the person who acted in a negligent manner. However, that individual likely has auto, malpractice or other types of insurance to protect against claims such as yours. If that is true, the defendant’s insurance company has a duty to defend against those claims, and insurance companies tend to use quality attorneys to represent their policyholders in court.
Your inexperience won’t be an excuse
The judge in your case has a duty to uphold the law, and you will be held to the same standard as any other attorney would if you choose to represent yourself. If you lose, you may be required to pay the other litigant’s legal fees and court costs.
Therefore, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney who understands the legal system and how to defend against tactics that opposing counsel might use against you. An exception might be made for cases that are tried in small claims court as the rules generally put individuals on equal footing with professional attorneys.
If you choose to engage in civil litigation, an attorney may be able to help with your case. A legal professional might use photos, videos or other evidence to help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other damages caused by another party’s negligence.