5 Times You Need to Hire a Lawyer
No one ever wants to call a lawyer, but there are times when you need to. You may not need a lawyer to get out of a parking ticket, but if you're involved in a lawsuit or going through a tough divorce, you need the expertise and experience of a lawyer on your side.
Here are five times when you need sound legal counsel:
1. When You're Injured in an Accident
If you're injured in any type of accident – while driving, while shopping, while at a place of business – you need a lawyer if you plan to file a lawsuit.
A lawyer that specializes in personal injury cases will know exactly how to proceed, which hurdles you'll face and how to help you get the most compensation possible for your injuries.
Not all personal injury cases require the help of an attorney, but if you choose to go at it alone, you may unknowingly forfeit certain rights or wind up with a less-than-fair settlement.
2. When You're Drafting a Will or Trust
Wills and trusts are created to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your demise. It's never too early to draft a will or a trust, and you should do it with the help of an attorney.
An attorney will ensure that a will or trust is set up properly to avoid disputes and legal issues after you die.
If your financial situation is complicated (e.g. you have a lot of complex assets), it becomes even more important to hire a lawyer.
3. When You're Involved in a Lawsuit
Whether you're filing a lawsuit or are named in one, you'll need a lawyer to help you get through the process. If you're the one suing, you may miss out on a fair settlement. If you're defending yourself, you may wind up losing more than you bargained for if you represent yourself in the case.
Most lawsuits are settled outside of court, but you certainly want an experienced negotiator on your side.
4. When You're Going Through a Nasty Divorce
Divorce is rarely easy, but the more bitter and complex it is, the more important it becomes to hire an attorney.
If your case involves any of the following, it's probably in your best interest to hire a lawyer:
- Child custody arrangements
- Spousal support
- Property division
Unless you and your partner have few assets and can mutually agree on all aspects of the split, you need to hire a lawyer. The terms of a finalized divorce are binding and can only be changed by going back to court.
5. When You're Immigrating to a New Country
If you're planning to relocate to a new country for work, educational or personal reasons, a lawyer can help walk you through the complicated immigration process.
"Immigration law involves complex aspects that require specialized attention to make sure that legal matters are handled in an appropriate manner," says Ronen Kurzfeld, an immigration lawyer in Toronto, Canada.
Throughout the process, you may have to speak to many different people and submit several different applications. If you go at it alone, it may take significantly longer to get through the application and approval process.