Many people think that calling an attorney is a sign of weakness or failure. That belief is a myth. Many successful and influential people in our society hire attorneys regularly to protect their rights and assets. Your rights and possessions are worth protecting and defending. Whenever you’re dealing with a matter of money, health, safety, property, work, or family, you are almost always navigating a legal situation. Commonly, you’ll handle many of them on your own.
Safe driving is one example of handling a legal situation on your own. The rules of the roads are one form of law. Obeying them means you’re successfully handling that legal situation. When you’re in a car accident, hopefully, you’ll comply with other required procedures as outlined by law, like calling law enforcement and providing your insurance information to the other drivers.
Hiring an attorney can be beneficial for each area of life if you need assistance. Just as there are many areas of life, there are many areas of law and lawyers that specialize in each kind. Some lawyers include estate attorneys, bankruptcy lawyers, criminal law lawyers, accident attorneys, malpractice lawyers, workmens’ compensation attorneys, personal injury lawyers, and more. There are many reasons why you might be wondering how to hire a new lawyer.
When You Question Legal Ramifications
Lawyers do more than help people in a courtroom. Every state has defined laws on how people must live, how a business needs to be run, matters of public safety, commercial development, and how crimes or injuries must be handled. Unless you’ve studied law, it’s common to be unaware of just how many regulations govern our society.
You’ll always want to hire an attorney when you aren’t sure how a situation involving money, land, bodily harm, crime, or other similar conditions may affect you. Even if you think the unthinkable may never happen, it’s always wise to consult with a lawyer in the area of law you’re curious about to see what the local rules state for your situation. For example, you might find people with troublesome neighbors may benefit from knowing how to handle false noise complaints to the city or allegations of pet harassment.
When You Experience Injury
Personal injuries can happen for various reasons and originate at home, work, or during leisure time. If you or a friend experience injury in an accident or due to someone else’s carelessness or malice, you’ll want to hire a personal injury attorney immediately.
When a case is open, a personal injury lawyer helps an injured person deal with the aftermath of a workplace injury or car accident while protecting their rights. A personal injury law firm will often deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Multiple states have laws that explain how a person should be compensated if they receive an injury.
An attorney can help the court determine who is liable for your injuries and can help you get the maximum amount of compensation possible under the current laws. Hiring an attorney when injured might be necessary even with insurance, especially if your injuries require lengthy recovery times and multiple medical treatments.
Sometimes, personal injury lawyers specialize in only certain types of injury. It might be helpful to consider one who spends a significant time of their practice working cases or injuries like yours. For example, if you’ve been in a car accident, consider working with a car accident law firm or an accident attorney. If you were hurt on the job, consider working with a workmens’ compensation lawyer. If a law firm doesn’t openly advertise which type of injuries they help with, it could be because their firm has multiple lawyers that cover numerous types of damage.
When You’re Cited for Driving Under the Influence
If you’ve been cited for driving under the influence, you’ll want to hire an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Getting pulled over is scary enough, but receiving a citation can send your adrenaline racing as your mind begins to consider the financial implications, difficulty getting off work without penalty to attend court and more. But what if you weren’t consuming alcohol before you got on the road?
Every state defines what driving under the influence is, under what circumstances a police officer may pull you over, and benchmarks that dictate when or if you can be arrested. Driving under the influence laws covers more than just alcohol consumption. Depending on the state, they can also cover the consumption of plant-based materials such as products containing certain levels of marijuana or kratom and illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
There are also circumstances where experiencing an ongoing medical condition can cause a person to swerve. At the same time, they cause a law enforcement officer to believe they are driving under the influence of something that is causing their driving to be impaired. Whether you were consuming a substance or not, it’s imperative you work with a DUI attorney to secure your rights.
When the Finances Become Too Much to Handle
It’s only natural to begin contemplating filing for bankruptcy when the financial pressures in life become too much. Anyone can suffer from financial setbacks or severe financial losses at any time during their life. It is not wrong and does not make you weak if you’re considering using bankruptcy and the protections it provides.
However, it can be overwhelming to attempt navigating bankruptcy law on your own. Each state dictates how and when a person can file for bankruptcy. More than that, there are different types of bankruptcies for individuals, businesses, townships, schools, and other entities.
Working with a bankruptcy attorney has many advantages. They can help you determine which type of bankruptcy you might be eligible for, the benefits and drawbacks of each kind, and what it would take for them to help you through the process.
When you file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy attorney will work with you to fill out all the court-required documents, meet all filing deadlines, and instruct you on how and when to answer questions from the court or creditors. All active bankruptcies are supposed to stop most debt-collection activities from debt collectors. If a creditor is not contacting you within the new boundaries, your attorney can make them stop.
When You Want to Protect or Distribute Your Assets
Keep in mind, no attorney will tell you that it is OK to hide assets from regulatory authorities, the court, or the IRS. However, there are many instances where certain assets can be shielded or protected better for you or someone you love. When dealing with investments and finances that need protection or distribution, you want to work with an estate planning attorney.
For example, potentially greedy soon-to-be ex-spouses or disinherited children may try to take, sell, or otherwise discard property or other assets illegally. There are also cases where some individuals maintain financial guardianship over another who behave unethically and use the person’s funds for private uses. Alternately, you may have cars, homes, time-shares, business secrets, investments, cryptocurrencies, memberships, and other assets that you may want to transfer to various people upon your death.
The estate lawyer can help with all of these situations and more. While you can attempt to draw up the proper paperwork yourself using third-party generic documents, many of those do not always hold up in court when challenged. An estate attorney knows how to draft wills, testaments, power-of-attorney documents, guardianship paperwork, and titles to protect the parties involved.
For example, some of the most unexpected behavior can manifest from family members you least expect when someone dies. An estate attorney has heard and dealt with common wealth distribution issues, challenges, as well as fringe and off-the-wall scenarios. They are there to guard the family and reduce friction whenever possible.
Likewise, if you’re in business, you may have partnership agreements to navigate or business assets that may need to be relinquished to your family upon your death. An estate attorney can help with that, too. Likewise, the attorney can help cover circumstances involving what to do when a business partner goes missing or is declared dead.
You may realize that there are many different options and ways to protect your assets and loved ones upon death or disability regarding estate planning. You get to work with an estate attorney to prepare for as many or as few possible outcomes as you’d like. They will guide you on what is legal in your state.
When You’re the Victim of a Crime
A crime that happens against you, in many cases, can be brought to court to hold the responsible parties accountable. There are purposeful and accidental crimes, the difference between the two usually being intention. Each state defines how the intent to cause a crime is defined. A person must be able to prove the intention of the harm that happened to them in situations where the purpose of the matter is unclear. Proving intent becomes especially important where the crime could have been intentional or accidental.
For example, let’s say you’re at a twice-yearly visit with your local dentist. While you’re there, the dentist injects your jaw at the wrong angle, causing you permanent nerve damage to part of your face. Many things will decide whether this was an accident or a crime. How many years of experience does the dentist have? Was the dentist under the influence? Was the dentist experiencing a medical condition that caused an uncontrollable hand movement? Did a staff member stumble from nearby and fall into the dentist?
The same logic can apply to a Botox injection gone wrong. Perhaps you suffered near-permanent disfigurement or a loss of sensation. Was the person applying the injection distracted by anger at someone or something else while injecting you? Was the injury intentional? Does your experience meet the definition of a crime? What evidence could a criminal lawyer help gather for you on your behalf? Could it come down to being medical malpractice instead? These are all excellent questions a criminal or malpractice lawyer can answer for you.
The law also provides help for other types of crime, like theft. A burglary lawyer can assist you when someone has stolen your vehicles, your goods from your home, your finances from the bank, or the belongings you had in storage. They will help you gather evidence, police reports, work with investigators, and insurance companies each step of the way. If you have any type of valuable asset stolen, it’s worth speaking to a burglary attorney for assistance. Some attorneys specifically work with art theft, auto theft, home invasions, and more.
Likewise, if you are ever caught up in the wrong time and place, you could be the one accused of a crime. Anytime you are accused in a criminal matter, you want to work with an attorney who handles the types of accusations you face. The criminal justice system can be full of twists and turns, with each step of the way making way for potentially life-changing consequences. The kind of crime does not matter. Once you find yourself tangled up in the court system, there can potentially be significant fees, potential prison time, the loss of loved ones, friends, network associates, and reputation.
Most people don’t bother working with lawyers because they believe lawyers can only help if you go to court. Many cases are handled in court, but many more are settled outside of court. Working with a lawyer is your best bet for getting assistance when dealing with any threats to your life, property, livelihood, ability to function, ability to recover, or crimes against you or your family. The financial impacts of clean-up or recovery can be steep. Don’t let the erroneous actions of others cost you more grief, health, or money than allowed by law. Get help from an attorney.