The Dangers of Representing Yourself in Court

The Dangers of Representing Yourself in Court

The right to go to court and make your case is one that is cherished here in the United States and elsewhere across the world. That said, just because you have the right to represent yourself in court doesn’t mean you should. As our personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg will explain, pro se legal representation (in which you represent yourself instead of retaining a lawyer) comes with serious risks.

We shall first address some of the main reasons people who really should be using a lawyer choose not to: cost and confidence. Too many people, as we know from our Delray Beach personal injury law practice, don’t want to spend money on a lawyer and think that they can do everything that needs to be done to win a case.

Let’s deal with the cost issue first. In a personal injury case, there is no out-of-pocket expense to the client and the initial hiring of the attorney is FREE; the attorney takes an industry standard percentage of the total amount of money recovered, and if for some reason no money is recovered, the lawyer makes nothing and the client has spent no money. (In a non-contingency case, you’ll almost assuredly recover so much more money with the help of a lawyer that the cost of hiring an attorney will be counterbalanced.) Therefore, you hire your lawyer for free, you pay nothing during the course of the case and if your lawyer recovers money for you, he/she will take a % of the recovery as the legal fee.

The confidence factor can be a troubling one. The fact of the matter is that no matter how much you know about your particular case, and no matter how many episodes of Law and Order you’ve watched, you are not equipped to handle a legal case in a court of law unless you are an experienced lawyer. As a lawyer, you are trained to meticulously spot issues that non-lawyers are not. Would you know every question asked of a witness by opposing counsel to which you must object? Would you know how to carefully write the jury instructions? More importantly, would you know how best to select the jury? The list goes on and on. Even if your case never goes to trial, you could be persuaded into signing a settlement agreement worth fractions of what you would have been compensated had you retained an attorney. Not hiring a lawyer because you think you know best, or that you might know best, can be detrimental.

As our personal injury lawyers at Aronberg & Aronberg know, even the most high-powered attorneys in the country have hired attorneys when they have had to challenge a legal claim made against them or have had to file a legal claim against another. This is because not only do you need someone who specializes in the type of legal case you are party to, you need someone who can step in and objectively look at the case from a factual, legal perspective – not an emotional one.

If you have any questions about this important issue, or if you’ve been injured or otherwise harmed due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another, please contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg to schedule a free consultation by calling 561-266-9191 or by e-mailing us at We look forward to assisting you. 

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