Small claims courts handle cases with relatively low values, so it makes sense that many people don't think they need legal representation for their small claims. However, you may need a lawyer for your small claims depending on the circumstances of your case. Below are some of the reasons you may need legal representation for your small claims.
You Need Assessment and Advice
Even if you don't want to hire a lawyer for your small claims, you may benefit from the advice of one. This is particularly true if you had never handled a legal issue before or represented yourself in court. The lawyer can assess your case, advise you on how to proceed, and even prepare you for self-representation.
In some cases, you just need a professional's overview of your case to determine whether to proceed or you are about to waste your time and resources. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may even make do with a single legal consultation.
The Opposing Party Has a Lawyer
It is also a good idea to hire a lawyer if the other party has one. In legal confrontations, it is always a good idea to be in equal footing with the opposing side. If you don't have a legal background, you will be at a disadvantage from the start if the other party has one. That would be bad for you since even the slightest disadvantage might give your opponent victory over you.
You are Busy
If you don't have a lawyer, then you will have to do everything on your own and make all the court appearances. You have to make court filings, presentations, and document productions on your own. This can be inconvenient if you are busy with family matters (say you have a sick loved one), your day job or your business. Hiring a lawyer to represent you will free up your time so that you can continue with your daily life.
The Law Requires It
Lastly, there are also cases where the law requires you to hire a lawyer for your small claims. For example, some courts require legal representation if your case involves a business entity or a government agency. Jurisdictions that insist on legal representation in such cases do so to ensure both parties are on an equal footing from the beginning. After all, businesses or government agencies will always be represented by lawyers.
Contact a personal injury attorney or other law services if you need representation in small claims court.