Why Hire a Lawyer After An Auto Accident In Florida If I Can Do It Myself?

I come from a family of do-it-yourself-ers. 

My grandfather, Allen H. Cunningham, was a huge fan of NOLO a website and, when he read it - it was a magazine, that provides law forms and do-it-yourself legal kits and books for consumers and small businesses including estate planning, business law, debt and credit.  He was an accountant with a home office and he always joked that if someone called and asked for the CEO of his business, he'd say "you've got the CEO, the office manager, the book keeper, and the janitor – how can I help you?"  He was a do-it-yourself-er and one of the best people I've ever known.

My husband and law partner, Charlie, has built or re-built just about everything in our home from the staircase to replacing bathroom fixtures to landscaping – you name it and he loves to do it himself.  And we feel like we're saving money.  But for complicated jobs like laying tile precisely, replacing the electrical panel, or fixing the air conditioner – we call a professional because we want to make sure the job gets done correctly and because these areas are out of our area of expertise.

I mentioned in my blog post yesterday that my father-in-law performs his own dentistry – its true – he thinks the dentist costs too much money; so if he's got a problem with a tooth, he goes out to his garage and pulls the tooth himself.  Mind you, he is a 88 year old Bronze Star, Purple Heart Awarded, Marine who served in WWII on the front line and slept in a hole under his tank for four years, so I guess you could say he's ok with pain.  Dentistry, however, is definately out of my father-in-law's expertise and a time or two he's ended up in the hospital emergency room with a dry socket.  But if I've got a problem with a tooth, I'm heading straight for the dentist, and most of the time I'm happy to pay a fair price for the dentist to fix my problem. 

But I like to do other things myself, like I take our own family photographs with a tripod like this one:


Its a pretty good shot, but as you can see, its not perfect – the kids look a little squirmy, our outfits aren't coordinated, and Charlie's got a bright neon green band-aid on his finger – no doubt from an injury in his home workshop – he's a weekend warrior and big fan of Home Depot.  But this picture isn't for any contests and isn't going to be blown up and put on the wall, its just a snapshot of my family right now.  If I needed a picture for something formal, I'd call my photography teacher and photography expert, Rob Moorman, and I know he'd do an excellent job. 

I've even been known to cut hair for my entire family – including myself; to sew clothes for the family (although I don't have a lot of time for that anymore), and to detail my own car (with the help of the kids – because they're the ones messing it up now days).  But if I need legal services for a contract dispute, real estate issue, or the probate of my late father's estate, I hire a lawyer.  As a lawyer, you may ask me why not do it myself?  Well, you've probably heard that old saying that goes something like  "A lawyer who represents herself has a fool for a client."  So I've hired and paid for a lawyer in my own life.  I understand the emotion as a client that someone has – questioning whether the money you're paying to the lawyer is worth it, but I've always come to the same conclusion and determined that it has been worth it.

So, if you are in an auto accident in Florida and you are wondering whether to hire an attorney or do it yourself; I'll give you my top ten reasons for hiring a lawyer:

1.  You are emotionally connected to the case, the lawyer, while he/she wants to help you is not.  The lawyer is going to be able to talk to the insurance company adjusters much more effectively than you are simply because you are emotionally connected and the lawyer is not.  Not only that, if you handle your own auto accident claim, you are compounding your mental stress and anguish my trying to do it your self.  If you are injured, you have enough to worry about with getting your body better, let someone else worry about making sure your claim is handled properly.  In the short run and the long run, you will save yourself from a lot of stress.

2. You will probably end up with more money in your pocket at the end.  Without a lawyer, the insurance carrier may try to settle with you quickly before you know the full extent of your injuries and/or may try to offer less than your claim is worth.  A seasoned personal injury lawyer knows the values of claims…

For more information or a free consultation on your legal issue contact The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC, your injury law and family law attorneys, at 727-300-4878. http://www.yourstpetelawyers.com

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