How Do You Know When You Need a Lawyer?
Do you need a lawyer? It may be possible for you to handle some simple legal matters on your own. But when the stakes are high, the risk of representing yourself in a legal matter could greatly outweigh the monetary cost of hiring experienced counsel. For some people, however, there is a natural resistance to hiring an attorney even when it is necessary.
Resistance to Hiring an Attorney
One of the primary concerns over hiring an attorney is the cost. While there are obviously costs associated with hiring an attorney, they frequently pale in comparison next to the cost of a bad outcome in court after representing yourself. Consider hiring a seasoned attorney as a form of insurance with the potential to limit your worst-case scenarios.
Other people may simply be intimidated by the process of hiring a lawyer. While it may seem complicated on the surface, the truth is that most attorneys make it as simple as possible. In many cases, attorneys will offer no-cost consultations to discuss the merits of your case. At these consultations, the attorney can give you advice on the potential strength of your case and explain the process of how to hire an attorney.
In many cases, the right question is not “do you need a lawyer?” – it is “how do I find the right lawyer for me?”
Do you need a lawyer? Four Signs You Might
There are too many valid reasons to hire a lawyer to list them all. But generally speaking, the best approach is to consider the worst-case scenario in a legal case. If you can envision that scenario coming to pass without it disrupting your life, you might be able to get by without an attorney. But if the consequences of an adverse decision in a case are enough to turn your life upside down, it might make sense to hire counsel. Here are four instances where hiring an attorney might make sense for you.
You are being Sued for Large Amounts of Money
One of the most obvious reasons why an attorney might make sense for you is if another person is suing you for a large amount of money. It is one thing to be sued for an inconsequential small claims case. But when the amount of a potential judgment is enough to bankrupt you, it might make sense to call in a professional to help craft your defense.
The Other Side has an Attorney
Handling your own legal matter is tough enough when you are facing off with another person acting as their own attorney. But you will find yourself far behind the 8-ball if you have to handle a case with an attorney on the other side. An attorney may be able to rely on years of experience to level the playing field for their client.
You Were Injured in an Accident
One of the common consequences of a motor vehicle accident is personal injury. If you were hurt by a negligent driver, representing yourself in court ultimately cost you the only shot you have at obtaining financial compensation for your injuries.
The Custody of your Children is at Stake
Your rights are not the only ones potentially affected by your decision not to hire an attorney. If you have been sued for custody, an attorney may be able to help you protect your rights as a parent. If you represent yourself at a custody hearing, you will be held to the same standards as an attorney. The rules at these hearings are complicated, and one mistake could cost you and your family dearly. Some Massachusetts towns have the highest divorce rates in the country; don’t let yourself be on the losing end of one of those cases.
Do you need a lawyer? Only you can know for sure. Hopefully, this article has helped make your choice clear.