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When It’s Time To Find a Lawyer

by Madeline Thatcher

Legal matters are not only complex but span several important areas of life. For example, if you’re injured in a car accident and your insurance sues the other driver, that’s a legal matter. Business, real estate, and debt may also become legal matters in certain circumstances. Of course, law breaking automatically becomes a legal issue for the criminal justice system to deal with.

A vital part of said system is representation. If the situation doesn’t appear serious, you may decide to represent yourself. However, there are instances in which you should absolutely find a lawyer. As expensive as attorneys’ services can be, they are well worth the cost in the following scenarios.


When You Need an Expert Eye

If you are about to enter into a legal contract, you should have a lawyer look it over. This is especially true if you’re unfamiliar with the typical terms of such contracts. For example, independent authors selling their work to major publishing houses often hire lawyers to read the contracts. This protects their interests, as there may be unusual or unfair terms an attorney can catch that a layman wouldn’t. It’s essential that you know what you’re signing before you put pen to paper. After that, you can be bound to the agreement, no matter how unfair.


When Prison Is on the Table

If the police charge you with a serious crime, you should seek legal advice. A prison sentence is more than just imprisonment — it can drastically affect the rest of your life. You lose access to certain social safety nets, such as government housing and educational grants. In some states, you may forfeit your right to vote. It’s also more difficult to find employment with a prison sentence on your record.


When the Risks Are High

When there is a lot of money involved, you should find a lawyer. This includes going into business with someone, investing in a project, or lending out money. This is another case of protecting your interests, as you don’t want to miss any loopholes that may cost you later. An attorney familiar with the field can also make sure the agreement meets regulations and the document is legally binding.


When You’re Going Against Someone With an Attorney

Showing up in court without counsel may be a mistake if the other side has professional representation. You’ll most likely be at a disadvantage and may ultimately lose, even if you’re in the right. Attorneys provide not only legal knowledge but strategy. They understand ways to influence a jury’s emotions or appeal to reason. An attorney also has the resources to do deep research and unearth information that may make all the difference. You need someone who knows the process and is in your corner.


When It Involves Death or Taxes

Nothing is more complicated than legal matters surrounding death and taxes. If you need an executor for the estate of someone who’s passed away, you’re better off with a lawyer. In cases where there’s no will or multiple parties are trying to claim a piece, an attorney is essential.

Likewise, if you find yourself owing taxes, you may need legal representation. The IRS is notorious for pursuing legal action, and you’ll need an expert in both law and tax codes.

Attorneys do charge fees that can get high, but they can offer expertise that prevents disaster. You can think of it as an investment — that retainer may literally save you.

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