From parking tickets to bankruptcy to injury claims, everyone experiences legal issues at some point in time. The question is: will you need an attorney when those moments roll around?
You always have the option of representing yourself, but linguistic subtleties and strict protocols present a steep learning curve. This is especially true when dealing with unique local laws.
Laws aren’t always easy to understand, but having legal representation, whether it’s a personal injury lawyer or a divorce lawyer, increases the odds of a successful case. Sometimes success is defined as a larger payout in your favor, and other times victory just takes the form of a reduced penalty.
Lawyers are also masters of handling paperwork. Rather than dealing with the stress of filling out, organizing, and filing the paperwork yourself, it’s smarter to rely on a professional. You don’t want to lose a case simply because you were late submitting a form.
So in what specific instances should you seek out an attorney? A good rule of thumb is to seek out legal consultation anytime you feel in over your head. In the following cases, you’ll always want a little help:
You’ve Been Denied Workers’ Compensation
If you were injured while at work and your workers’ comp claim is denied for some reason, you might be tempted to just avoid the legal battle. In actuality, you could have a fairly easy case ahead of you if you decide to pursue it. A legal expert can analyze the situation and help you gather evidence to get your workers’ compensation benefits.
You’ve Been Dragged into a Lawsuit
Finding out you’re being sued would set off alarm bells for anyone, and so it’s important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can. If there’s a lot of money at stake, assume that the person suing you already has a savvy legal representative in their corner.
In some cases, you might be ready to take the hit and plead no contest. If that’s your situation, you can forgo an attorney.
You Were Caught Driving Under the Influence
DUI charges come with heavy consequences, ranging from expensive fines to actual time in jail. But a DUI doesn’t have to be completely devastating. Look for a reliable attorney who’s willing to work to reduce the severity of your penalty.
You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident
Car accidents can leave you physically shaken and buried in an avalanche of insurance company paperwork and calls. Personal injury attorneys can be very helpful in these situations because they know how to get you fair compensation. Consult with an attorney before settling a claim.
You’re Dealing with Important Family Issues
When navigating a messy divorce, a lawyer can make the entire process more manageable. However, a separation isn’t the only reason you might need legal help when dealing with family issues. When you’re establishing a will or hoping to adopt a child, having an attorney by your side can help you avoid complications in the future.
With all that said, there are also plenty of times when you won’t need professional legal representation. For example, small claims matters don’t have high stakes, so you might feel comfortable going it alone. Traffic tickets are generally easy to handle by yourself as well, especially if you have the money to simply pay for it and move on with your life. In terms of family-related issues, it’s possible to avoid hiring a divorce attorney as long as you and your ex are able to agree on the conditions. Keep in mind that there’ll be plenty of details to hammer out though, ranging from financial savings to child custody.