There are several times when you need legal advice. From getting a divorce to seeking compensation for a personal injury and buying a property, a professional can help you with multiple legal issues. A traffic ticket is a legal matter, and so is medical negligence. The accused in these cases experiences different situations and needs a lawyer to help them prepare their defence. There are hundreds of legal issues in between these two legal issues that may or may not require legal representation.
Before listing the times when you need legal advice, you should know there are two legal categories.
Civil law covers the legal issues that don’t involve breaking the law or criminal activity, but the times when a party sues another because they think they’ve been wronged in a way and seek compensation. Civil law also covers divorce, child custody, real estate transactions, and other similar legal issues where legal paperwork is required to protect the parties involved.
Criminal law covers the offences that break the law. In this case, the accused hires lawyers to defend them, and the governmental entities work with prosecutors to charge the accused. In criminal law, there are minor offences called misdemeanours and serious crimes called felonies.
If you don’t know if your legal issue requires working with a legal expert, consult a lawyer. They can tell you if they can help you with your case or point you in the direction of an expert who can represent you.
When should you seek legal advice?
A difficult divorce
When you and your partner mutually agree on all aspects of your split, you don’t have to hire a legal expert. However, when the case is complex, and there are issues of investments, property, support, savings, child custody arrangements, and debt, you shouldn’t neglect legal representation because it can make or break your case. The terms of a finalised divorce are quite binding, and you can change them only if you go back to court. However, you can avoid this situation if you work with a professional upfront because they can provide you with legal advice and assistance.
When someone sues you, and the consequences of a loss can trigger the loss of property or money, you need to work with a lawyer specialised in cases like yours. Most of the times, the party who accuses you has a lawyer on their side, and you should also get one on yours. When you have a good representation, you can settle the things out of court. The lawyer can also act as a negotiator on your side.
A car accident that caused personal injuries
If you experienced an accident that wasn’t your fault, the other party’s insurance provider would try to settle your claim as fast as possible. But when they hurry to do it, it may not be advantageous for you, and you shouldn’t do it. It’s best not to talk to the insurer’s representative before you consult a personal injury lawyer and estimate how much compensation your case is worth. A company like How Much Compensation can free legal advice in matters of personal injuries. You aren’t familiar with the laws and don’t know what the compensation rates are for a car accident, but an experienced legal consultant has plenty of knowledge in the area. Supposing you get hurt in a vehicle accident, you shouldn’t talk to anyone except answering questions from the police on the scene. Contact your personal injury lawyer and ask them to handle the case for you.
Discrimination in the workplace or a wrongful termination
There are laws at play here, and because you lack legal knowledge, you may not fully understand them. A lawyer specialised in this type of cases is qualified to carry a suit into court. In these situations, the other party also has a solid legal representation, and you should ensure you have an expert on your side.
Driving under the influence is a serious legal issue because the consequences often include a loss of license, jail time, fines, or a combination of them. If you deal with a DUI case, you should hire a good lawyer who can meet with the prosecutor and negotiate the charges to reduce them, especially if this is your first offence. It would be best if you don’t go to court without hiring a legal consultant, unless you are ready to accept the maximum penalty.
Here’s nothing scarier than facing criminal charges. And most likely, you don’t know your rights when you are the accused party. It doesn’t matter if you’re guilty or not; you should hire a lawyer immediately for your protection. The lawyer will do their best to defend your case and reduce your penalty in case you’re found guilty.
Supposing you face drug charges, you should also hire a lawyer rather than working with a public defender because the public defender will probably recommend a plea bargain.
Times when you don’t have to hire a legal expert
There is a small number of times when you don’t need to hire a legal expert.
Small claims court
This court handles civil disputes that don’t involve large sums of money. Most of the times, this is an informal procedure where you and the other party tell your stories, and the judge decides who is right.
There’s no reason to hire a legal consultant when you get a traffic ticket. Just pay the fine and make sure next time you follow the traffic regulations. The exception to this rule is when the ticket puts points on your license that can trigger a suspension, or the offence is serious and makes your insurance rates grow. Working with a lawyer in these situations can help you reduce the ticket to a non-moving offence, and you pay only a fine.
Lawsuits you don’t want to contest
When someone is suing you, and you know what they want and are ok with providing it, then you can appear in court without a legal representative or even miss the trial. The court will send you a summary judgement.
And here are the times when you should and should not seek legal advice.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.