Get an attorney!
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear those words? If you’re like most people, you think of someone facing criminal charges – most likely murder or theft.
Well, you don’t have to be a criminal suspect to need an attorney. In fact, in some instances, you don’t have to be navigating the court system to need an attorney. Even some mundane tasks such as signing a rental agreement can need the input of an attorney.
Ready to learn about some of the most important instances where you should hire an attorney?
Let’s get into it!
1. You’re Starting a Business
In a country where 69 percent of entrepreneurs start their businesses from home, it can be difficult to see a need to hire a business attorney. After all, lower startup costs are the main reason home-based businesses are popular, so not many entrepreneurs have the money to spend on legal services.
However, hiring an attorney when you’re starting a business is a smart move, and here is why.
Let’s say you have a groundbreaking product, and you can’t wait to take it to market. With an attorney on your team, you’ll be reminded to first file a patent before starting selling it. The lawyer will file for the patent on your behalf.
Other tasks a commercial attorney can help include:
- Drafting business/partnership contracts
- Providing counsel on commercial/corporate law
- Negotiating business deals.
2. You’ve Sustained a Personal Injury
Not all personal injuries require an attorney. If you chop off your finger while preparing dinner, you’re responsible for your own misfortune. Or if your pet dog goes rogue and bites you, the only professional service you need is medical attention.
But if you’ve sustained a personal injury as a result of someone else negligence, you may need to hire an attorney at some point.
For instance, if you’re involved in a car accident and another driver is at fault, you’re going to need the driver’s insurance company to compensate you for your injuries and damages. A personal injury lawyer will help you negotiate the settlement and ensure you get the money you deserve.
Similarly, if you’re injured on the job, you’ll need to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you in the compensation negotiations. And if the employer’s insurer doesn’t make you a satisfactory offer, the attorney can sue them in court.
3. You’re in Trouble with Uncle Sam
Maybe you’ve never filed your tax returns. Or you file your returns alright, but you’ve been underreporting your income.
Suddenly, you’ve got mail! It’s the Internal Revenue Service, and you’re in for an audit.
Who’s the first person you call? If you’re a smart guy, you’d call a tax attorney.
These professionals know tax law inside out. They’ll examine whatever tax situation you’re facing and offer a solution. If the IRS is suing you, this is the lawyer you want leading your defense team.
4. You’re in Serious Debt
The average American is over $30,000 in debt – and this is excluding home loans.
Clearly, debt is a major issue in the US, and if you’re not financially savvy, you can easily end up borrowing more than you can manage to pay. If you spiral into this situation, your lenders can come after your assets, especially if you’ve secured debt.
Do you want to lose your car, home, or any other prized asset?
The answer is no, and the only way to keep collection agencies at bay is to file for bankruptcy. However, filing for bankruptcy is a complex process. From figuring out which type of bankruptcy suits your situation to filling out the paperwork, a newbie cannot hack it.
The solution? Hire a bankruptcy lawyer.
This professional will counsel you about the process, including the risks involved, prepare the paperwork, and handle any litigation on your behalf.
5. You Want to Plan Your Estate
Are you one of the 60 percent of Americans who don’t have a will?
If yes, it’s understandable that thinking about and planning for your death is a heavy issue. But let’s face it: death is coming. And when it comes, it better finds your estate in order; otherwise, there could be chaos, with your next of kin fighting over your assets.
Writing a will eliminates such scenarios. It gives you an opportunity to not only allocate your wealth accordingly but also decide who’ll make medical decisions in the event that you’re incapacitated.
A will can be a simple document, especially if you don’t have much to your name. But if your estate is large, things can get complex. Either way, it’s a smart idea to get an estate planning attorney to help you understand the process and make the right decisions.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to start planning your estate.
6. You’re Suspected of Committing a Crime
Get this: you don’t need to be guilty of a crime to hire a criminal lawyer.
Yes, you could be as clean as whistle, but left to your own devices, you might not be able to prove it – and the prosecution will have a field day nailing your butt. Really, it’s a flaw in the American justice system. Far too many people – as many as 230,000 – are locked away for crimes they didn’t commit, and for many of those, it’s because they couldn’t afford a lawyer.
So if you’re facing criminal charges, lawyer up!
What’s more, there are different types of criminal lawyers. The one you should hire depends on the type of criminal offense you’re suspected of committing.
For example, if you’re suspected of manslaughter, you need a manslaughter charge lawyer. If you’re facing a DUI charge, hire a DUI lawyer.
And if you’re suspected of dealing drugs, get a drug lawyer. On that note, be sure to learn more about how a drug lawyer can help you.
7. You’re Facing a Family Issue
Divorce is the first thing that bursts to mind when a family lawyer is mentioned. Who can blame you?
America is a country of divorcees. With about 50 percent of all marriages ending in divorce, family attorneys are some of the more sought after professionals.
It goes without saying that if you’re in the middle of a divorce, you should hire a family attorney – specifically one who specializes in divorce. If you’re not able to agree with your soon-to-be ex-spouse on issues such as property division, children, and support, your attorney can help you reach an amicable agreement. They’ll also take care of the necessary paperwork.
That being said, there are other instances where you may want the services of a family lawyer:
- You want to draw up prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- You’re a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence
- You want to adopt a child
- You’re not sure about the paternity of your children
- You’re accused of neglecting your children.
8. You’re a Victim of Medical Malpractice
When you go to a health facility to get treatment, a misdiagnosis or getting the wrong treatment is the last thing on your mind. Physicians go through extensive training so that they never have to make such mistakes.
However, medical malpractice, whether through omission or negligence, is a common theme. Every year, about 250,000 people in the US die due to medical malpractice. Many more sustain serious injuries.
If you or your loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, you need to sue the health worker and even the health facility. This is why you must hire a medical malpractice lawyer.
These professionals have a good grasp of both the law and medicine. They’ll review your situation and help you get justice, be it in terms of adequate monetary compensation or ensuring the defendant gets jail time.
9. You Need Immigration Help
The Trump administration is actively pushing for tougher immigration laws and policies, which means it’s an unsettling time for immigrants.
If you’ve been caught up in an immigration issue and you’re facing deportation, hire an immigration attorney. They could be your last line of defense.
There are also other immigration issues that need the input of an immigration attorney. If you’re looking to immigrate to another country, you need an attorney who’s well-versed with the country’s visa rules. Other instances include when you’re applying for citizenship or permanent residency status, or looking to obtain proof of citizenship.
Know When to Hire an Attorney
Most attorneys charge a premium for their services, which is the reason most people go to them as a last resort.
However, as this article demonstrates, there are instances when you first order of business should be to hire an attorney – and not just any attorney, but an attorney who specializes in the resolving the issues you’re facing.
Good luck and keep tabs on our site for more legal tips and insights.