In the legal world there is an old adage that warns: “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client”. In other words, even attorneys shouldn’t attempt to handle their own legal matters since it can result in some of the same problems that non-attorneys would face if they tried to represent themselves in court. Just take Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, who attempted to represent himself to get a better contract out of the NFL.
The fact of the matter is that the practice of law has become exceedingly complicated over the past 50 years. While attorneys were once capable of handling all litigation matters, there are more specialty litigation practices today than there have ever been before. Thus, the generalist trial lawyer has been replaced by the specialist, and in turn, a specialist that is trained and experienced in a particular market can become an expert in their field. By going to a legal “expert” in a particular matter, you can rest assured that you will receive the best representation from someone who is devoted to a specialized area of the law—often for the bulk or all of their career.
When you hear people complain about having to pay their personal injury attorney 1/3 of an award, it’s easy to paint the attorney out as the greedy bad guy. However, many people that are injured have to deal with insurance companies who refuse to pay out. The attorneys representing the insurance companies are professionals, too, and know what to do and say to deny your claim and win against you in court. Your best chance of winning is by getting a professional on your side: a personal injury attorney. You don’t want to go into a difficult, complicated, and often emotionally-charged situation with someone who is doing this for the first time, and that includes you.