Top Five Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
Any time you have to deal with the legal system, the first question to ask is: Do I need a lawyer to help me with this? For something as simple as a speeding ticket, the answer may be no (especially if you know you were driving too fast).
There are many other times when hiring a lawyer could be the best possible decision. Having an experienced attorney run interference for you with the courts can save time, money, and hassles.
Each case is different, so there’s no hard and fast rule for when you need to hire an attorney. But there are some basic reasons for obtaining the services of a lawyer.
1. Your case is complex.
Dealing with a case successfully requires legal experience and a non-emotional response to the circumstances. Failure to hire an attorney could cost you more in the long run. For instance, in a civil case you risk the entry of a judgment against you and the efforts to collect that judgment can include a wage garnishment, a garnishment against your bank accounts, a lien against your home and other financial costs.
2. Your case involves challenging pieces of evidence.
Challenging evidence is what lawyers do. You may not know how to keep a particular piece of evidence out of a case. Preventing that piece of evidence from being admitted by the judge could be the difference between winning or losing your case.
3. Your case needs an expert witness.
You may need someone with special knowledge to testify in your case or assist you in developing evidence for it. Because they use experts on a regular basis, attorneys keep a current list of the good professionals to hire. This can make a big difference in your case.
4. You need to enter a plea in a criminal case or prepare a pleading to file in the court record.
If you are charged with a crime, you may need to plead not guilty even when the state has a really good case against you. Your lawyer can explain your options to you. Handling a case involves preparing and filing pleadings. You won’t be able to create a well written pleading if you don’t know what a pleading is and what you need to include in it.
5. Your case might involve negotiating a settlement.
You will likely get a better outcome if your attorney negotiates on your behalf. An experienced lawyer can usually analyze the facts, apply the law to them and give you a good idea of what you can expect if you go to trial. Using that information, your lawyer can discuss the case with the opposing party and potentially negotiate a good settlement. You will be at a real disadvantage if the other party has an attorney and you don’t.
These are just some of the times when hiring an attorney would be the smart choice. If you are unsure about a specific case, many attorneys will give you a free or low cost initial consultation. If this is available to you, you will lose nothing except a little time and you stand to gain a great deal in terms of getting your case accurately analyzed and assessed. You will then know what you can expect in your case and whether or not you do need an attorney.