Self-representation is always an option through personal injury claims. Engaging a Compensation Lawyer can be costly, and you need to take that into account when you are considering which option is best for you.
Most of the time, a compensation lawyer will offer you a free initial consultation. This is definitely something you should take advantage of because:
(a) the compensation lawyer should be able to tell you straight away whether you have legitimate grounds for a claim;
(b) they will be able to let you know the complexity of your case; and
(c) they will be able to let you know whether there is a substantial amount of compensation to be sought.
All of these factors will help you to decide whether your matter should be handled by a personal injury lawyer, or whether you can, or should, take it on yourself.
Another offer usually provided by a compensation lawyer is one of ‘no win no fee’. This option makes retaining a compensation lawyer accessible to everyone, as the legal fees will simply be taken out of your payout should your claim be successful. However, if a lawyer offering ‘no win no fee’ believes that your claim will not bring about a substantial compensation payout, or that your claim is likely to fail, then they may refuse to represent you. If this happens, it can be a clear indication of your prospects. But all is not lost as, like we mentioned before, self-representation is always an option.
As a rule of thumb, it is always better to have a lawyer representing you in legal proceedings, but representing yourself is not impossible. To assist you, there are several useful and in depth self-help kits to walk you through the process. If you are in Queensland, you may wish to refer to the Online Personal Injuries Self-Help Kit, which is funded by Legal Aid Queensland and is a very comprehensive guide to assist individuals to file a claim for compensation in small personal injury matters in Queensland.
Unless you are very confident in your ability to represent yourself through a personal injury claim, the only two situations where it may be better to self-represent than to instruct a lawyer are where you are seeking compensation for a small amount of money, or if you can’t find a lawyer who will take your matter on.