Do I need a lawyer?
If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re likely facing a complicated personal or legal situation.
You could be the one pursuing legal action. Or you could need legal defense if you’ve been accused of doing something wrong.
Whatever your situation, it’s often a good idea to have an attorney on your side to help you through the process.
Hiring legal counsel doesn’t mean you’re going to court. It could be as simple as getting legal advice or getting help creating legal documents.
Here are nine situations when having a lawyer is a good idea.
- Divorce or Family Dispute
You think your divorce is going to be smooth, so you don’t need a lawyer, right?
While a lawyer isn’t required to file for divorce, you may decide it’s best to have one on your side.
Your spouse might seem cooperative going into the divorce, but things can get messy quickly. You might have difficulty agreeing on property division or child custody.
Any time you have a complicated situation, such as a high income, lots of high-value assets, or a family business, hiring a lawyer is essential to protect your interests.
It’s also a good idea to hire a lawyer if you have kids. Your lawyer helps keep your child’s best interests in mind. Parents who aren’t getting along might not be able to see the situation objectively.
Your lawyer also ensures everything gets filed correctly. This prevents delays in the divorce process, which means you have your freedom sooner.
Family law attorneys also help with other disputes or legal situations involving the family. That includes things like grandparents’ rights, paternity, prenuptial agreements, and adoption.
- Personal Injury Caused by Negligence
If you were recently injured because of someone else’s negligence, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is a good idea.
Insurance companies try to settle quickly and often for less than you truly deserve. Some insurance companies try to get out of paying completely or use stall tactics to convince you to give in to smaller amounts.
Hiring an attorney means you have a legal expert to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You’ll likely get a larger settlement than you would otherwise.
Your attorney can come up with a fair settlement amount based on the injuries you have and ongoing medical needs. They can also figure in compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.
- Illegal Treatment at Work
Several state and federal laws govern your rights at work, including discrimination laws.
If your employer violates those laws, you have the right to pursue legal action.
An attorney can help you get financial compensation for things such as wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment. They can also help if your employer refuses to pay overtime or pay you the full wages you’re owed.
Pursuing legal action can also result in penalties for your employer. This can help prevent the problem from happening to other people.
Lawyers can also help if you’ve been injured at work. Worker’s compensation insurance might deny your claim initially. A lawyer can help prove your case, appeal the denial, and get you the settlement you deserve.
- Car Accident With Injuries
Like personal injury cases, car accidents often result in low settlement offers from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Your attorney can ensure you get a fair settlement.
With car accidents, there could be more than one liable party. Accidents involving multiple cars are complex.
Some car accidents are caused by faulty mechanical parts, which could place the blame on the manufacturer.
Bankruptcy is the legal process to discharge your debts. While you can file for bankruptcy on your own, it’s best to have a legal expert to handle your case.
That’s especially true if you have a complicated financial situation or if you’re filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which requires you to create a repayment plan.
If you do it on your own, you run the risk of making a small mistake that could jeopardize your case. That could mean your debts don’t get discharged.
- Criminal Charges
If you’re faced with any criminal charges, it’s best to have a lawyer to defend you.
Your attorney works to find evidence for your case. They also know the intricacies of the law and might be able to find weaknesses in the case against you.
The goal is to prevent you from getting convicted. But even if you’re convicted, having an attorney could help you receive a lighter sentence.
- Serious Traffic Violations
Another possible situation in which you need a lawyer to defend you is a serious traffic violation.
This could be a situation where you caused an accident due to negligence. The other party might come after you for damages.
A DUI is another major violation that can result in high fines and jail time. The possible consequences vary by state and whether or not it’s your first violation.
Your lawyer might be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced.
- Starting a Business
Do you have a great business idea?
Unless you’re starting a law firm, you probably don’t have a strong background in the legal aspect of starting and running a business.
If you don’t follow the legal requirements for running a business in your state, you could face fines or have your business shut down. Having a lawyer to walk you through the process gives you peace of mind and ensures you don’t miss any significant legal issues.
- Wills and Trusts
Setting up a will ensures your assets go where you want them to go should you pass away. It’s your legal route for dictating who gets your things.
Wills are also crucial when you have kids. Your will specifies who gets custody of your kids if something happens to both parents.
You can also set up a trust with the help of a lawyer.
You can handle these plans on your own, but having a lawyer help you ensures the document is done correctly.
Lawyers understand the laws that influence wills and can help you fully understand the implications of your decisions. They can also help you think of things you might not consider on your own.
Learn How to Answer Do I Need a Lawyer
When you have to ask, “Do I need a lawyer?” the answer is often yes. Whether or not you end up in court, having a legal pro helping you through life’s challenging times and changes can help you protect your interests or avoid serious legal consequences.
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