There are several hundred thousand court cases in the United States every year. While not all of these cases will require the skills and expertise of a lawyer, many of them will. Of course, hiring a lawyer can be expensive.
But not hiring a lawyer can end up being even more costly. So how do you know when you should absolutely hire a lawyer? And when is it okay to just represent yourself?
We’re glad you asked. So keep on reading and we will walk you through everything that you need to know with regards to when to hire a lawyer.
1You Are In Over Your Head
If you don’t feel comfortable representing yourself in court, then you should definitely hire a lawyer. The comfort level for self-representation in court will vary from one person to another, depending on how well you know the law and how well you understand legal terms.
You also need to be confident in your ability to speak and write in English and talking in front of other people.
If you don’t think that you can afford to lose the case, then you’ll need to go and hire a lawyer.
2You Could Go To Jail
If you get charged with a crime, including tax fraud, domestic violence, or even driving under the influence, then you need to hire a lawyer. If you lose the case, you could face life-changing consequences.
It’s not just a matter of proving that you’re innocent. There are many technicalities and legal maneuvers that you will need to know in order to be successful.
3Bodily Injury Is Involved
The most common situation for bodily injury is a car accident. But this could also include a variety of situations, such as injuries due to a defective product, being bitten by a dog, or getting injured on your property.
You might have home or car insurance, but it’s still advisable that you hire a lawyer. It’s important to understand that the insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. Their job is to simply pay as little money as possible.
If you or a member of your family has been injured, and it seems like you have a good claim, then most personal injury attorneys are not going to charge you any fees. Instead, they will take payment after winning your case.
You also want to make sure that you work with an experienced and reputable law firm. Check out this website to learn about one of the most reputable law firms around.
4You Are In A Complicated Divorce
If there are disagreements over children or assets, if you have a very complex financial situation, or if there are allegations of domestic violence, then you’re going to need a lawyer.
5You Need To Administer The Estate Of Someone Who Died
A lot of states have simplified the procedures for small estates. This is when a person leaves behind only a few assets and the will is clear about who inherits the estate.
In these instances, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer. However, with a lot of estates, the procedures are more complicated. There might be tax issues, for instance.
A probate lawyer can be very helpful in a situation like this.
6You Want To Do Comprehensive Estate Planning
It’s possible to prepare a living will, power of attorney, simple will, or even a basic living trust without the assistance of an attorney.
However, you are going to need to make sure that you know what you’re doing. This is especially true if there are tax problems, a big estate, or a complicated distribution plan.
When to Consider Representing Yourself
There are some instances when you may feel comfortable representing yourself. While these instances may be few and far between, they are still worth knowing about.
Parking Tickets And Minor Traffic Violations
A lot of people who go to traffic court for small infractions usually don’t hire a lawyer. Many times, you can win a traffic case by just showing up.
Relatively Simple Divorce
If your spouse and you can reach an agreement on how to divide your debts and estate, and you won’t be arguing over custody, then you can handle your own divorce. You both need to be able to cooperate in preparing and filing the needed court documents.
Small Claims Court Is Available
You will find a specialized procedure in a lot of areas for dealing with small disputes. These claims are usually worth less than a certain amount of money.
Basic Business Matters
With a bit of research, you can figure out things how to set up your own business. On your own, you should be able to register for:
- a trademark or trade name
- an assumed name (also known as doing business as or d/b/a)
- an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
You should also be able to form your business entity, hire employees, and create basic forms and contracts.
The Importance of Knowing When You Should Absolutely Hire a Lawyer
Hopefully, after reading the article above, you now have a better idea of when you should absolutely hire a lawyer. As we can see, you will want to hire a lawyer to help resolve most legal matters. But you can also represent yourself in some cases if you’re comfortable enough.
Are you looking for other helpful articles like this one? Check out the rest of our blog today for more!