From a car accident to a dispute with a neighbor, to drafting an estate plan or other legal document, there are countless situations that could lead you to wonder whether you are better off enlisting the help of a lawyer. In this article, we'll discuss some of the most important things to consider when making this decision.
Many people are hesitant to hire a lawyer because they are fearful of what it might cost. While it is true that legal services do not usually come cheap, having a skilled professional on your side almost always means a better outcome, when compared with the results you can expect when you represent yourself.
Explains to you the law
If you are not a lawyer you probably have no business acting like one in certain instances. Even experienced lawyers typically do not represent themselves in court. A solid case can quickly unravel without the help of a trained and emotionally detached attorney. Similarly, failing to hire a lawyer when starting a business, reviewing a contract or embarking on other endeavors with potential legal ramifications can result in otherwise avoidable pitfalls.
Defends you on law suits
If you are being sued and the consequences of a loss may result in the loss of a good deal of money or property, you need a lawyer. Again, the other side has a lawyer, so you need to get one too. Most of these things are settled out of court, but you want an experienced negotiator on your side.
Helps you in transferring property
When one or more parties are corporations, trusts or partnerships, the contract preparation and the ensuing negotiations are complex. An attorney understands these different types of business arrangements and their legal boundaries within your state's law. As such, the attorney will ensure that the contract is consistent with the law, but also that the terms of the deal in no way violate the partnership's, trust's or corporation's charter agreements.
Spend time with client
Lawyers spend time on a case that a defendant cannot afford to spend and prioritizing to check the criminal law that may affect the case. Defendants who can afford to hire a lawyer usually have jobs, and therefore lack the time (and energy) to devote to such time-consuming activities as gathering and examining documents, doing legal research, and talking to witnesses.
Help to get good offer
A good lawyer can strike up a good settlement offer or plea bargain, if necessary. An experienced lawyer probably has seen cases similar to yours or at least knows enough to make a calculated guess about how it might resolve at trial. Sometimes a settlement is the best choice, while other times it makes more sense to see your case through to trial. An attorney also can help negotiate a fair settlement with the opposing party. The best example is family lawyers negotiating good deal that is win-win for both sides since it involves family and kids.
You're not sure how to plead -- or what a 'pleading' is? Pleading guilty is not the only choice, even if there is evidence pointing directly at you. An attorney who understands the law will be best situated to explain your options and can help you avoid potentially severe penalties even before a criminal trial begins.