5 Times It Might Actually Be Worth Hiring a Lawyer
We all go through stressful and difficult situations in our lives, and sometimes it’s hard to determine if we can handle them ourselves or if we need help. If you do realize that you need assistance, you might be able to get help from a friend or family member. However, there are certain situations when more professional help is needed.
Like any profession, lawyers are not appropriate or necessary in every situation, but they can be extremely useful and even necessary in certain situations. Many lawyers specialize and are knowledgeable in a particular area, so they can help you if you need representation or assistance in their area of expertise. However, you have to decide whether hiring a lawyer is worth your money or not, and in some cases, it won’t be. Here are five situations in which you probably will find that it’s worth hiring a lawyer.
1. If you’re charged with a crime
This one should be pretty obvious, but you will definitely need a lawyer if you are charged with a crime. If you can’t afford a lawyer, a public defender will usually be appointed to you. However, it is in your best interest to retain a lawyer — and a good one, if possible. You don’t want to end up in jail long-term, and hiring a lawyer might also help you avoid paying a serious fine. You should talk to a Criminal Defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will also help to make sure that your rights are protected. Make sure that you look at the lawyer’s website or contact the state bar association to make sure they they are in good standing, and if possible, ask around to find lawyers that other people have had a positive experience with.
2. You are getting a divorce
Yes, it’s possible to get a divorce without hiring a lawyer. If you are able to work with your spouse, you may be able to avoid using a lawyer for the majority of your case. You then can ask the court in writing to grant you a divorce, and depending on where you live, you may not have to go to court at all. You can also always use a lawyer for just a few aspects of the arrangements that you are making in order to save money.
However, if you are involved in a complicated divorce, you will probably find that you need a lawyer. If your relationship included abuse, if one of you is extremely aggressive or dishonest, or you are fighting over children, you will need a lawyer.
3. If an accident is involved
If you were recently in a car accident, a workplace accident, or another type of accident, you should hire a lawyer. While an insurance company will handle many of the details, you shouldn’t necessarily assume that the insurance company will get you everything you need. A lawyer can help you get the money that you require for medical expenses as well as any property damage.
If someone else was harmed on your property or you were the direct cause of harm to another person, you also need a lawyer. Even if the other person doesn’t want to press charges, there still may be medical bills, and it’s always safer to retain a lawyer in case they change their mind later.
4. You are planning for, or dealing with, a death
This category is a little bit trickier, because many people will tell you that you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to write out a will, and you can often write one yourself with a little online assistance. However, whether you are directly writing a will, planning an estate, or preparing other documents for after you die, it’s best to at least have a lawyer look at the forms after you finish. You don’t want to risk having anything unclear — especially when other people are involved.
If you are an executor of an estate, there may already be a lawyer participating, but if not, you should at least speak with one. This is especially true if anyone is especially argumentative or wants to contest anything. You also might need help if the estate includes many different kids of property, or is a tax liability.
5. Other cases
The laws change by state, but in general, if you are purchasing a house, you may want to hire a lawyer. Lawyers can handle issues that some real estate agents might not be able to handle. They also can oversee a contract. In general, when you are making a huge purchase like a house, it makes sense to hire a lawyer. It also makes sense to hire a lawyer if you are concerned about anything written in a different contract — like one for a rental unit.
Lawyers are also helpful when you are starting your own business, if you are served with a lawsuit, and if you are dealing with a serious work issue like discrimination. There are many other situations in which you might choose to hire a lawyer, but in the cases listed above, it is often the right time to shell out the necessary funds to hire one.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should be smart when selecting legal representation. Make sure your lawyer has experience in the specific area you need help with, talk to more than one lawyer before you choose, know what you are getting from your agreement, know the costs, and keep records.