How to Decide if You Need Legal Counsel
Every year there are about 40 million lawsuits in America.
While some lawsuits are simple and easy to handle, others are complex and life-altering. If you’re not sure whether or not you need a lawyer to help with your case, read on. In this article, we’ll explain when hiring an attorney is a good idea, and we’ll also review exactly how they can help you win your case.
Here is a simple guide to understanding when it’s time to obtain legal counsel.
When to Hire a Lawyer
Are you dealing with a DUI or domestic violence charge? If yes, it’s always an idea to have legal counsel represent you in the courtroom. During a criminal case, like being accused of murder, you should hire an attorney experienced in your type of case.
If you can’t afford an attorney, criminal cases give you the option of asking the court to assign a public defender to your case. While public defenders aren’t bad, they usually aren’t as effective as lawyers you hire directly.
If you’re involved in a civil case, you don’t have the right to request a lawyer. Instead, civil cases require you to pay for your lawyer out of pocket.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Small Claims Court?
Do you need a lawyer to collect small claims case money? While a lawyer isn’t required, there are certain small claims court situations where having a lawyer would be in your best interest.
Here’s a shortlist of situations that point towards you needing legal counsel:
- Suing corporation
- Suing government entity
- Other party has a lawyer
- A counterclaim is possible
If you’re suing a government entity or corporation, you should consult with a lawyer before your case begins. A local lawyer will be able to evaluate your claims and investigate your case.
Next, no matter what type of small claims case you’re in, if the other party has a lawyer, you should too. Since the other party will have someone advocating on their behalf, you’ll want to give yourself the same advantage!
Moving on, is there a viable counterclaim that could happen with your case? If yes, the claim could easily wind up costing you thousands of dollars. Luckily, if you have legal representation, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to get the best outcome.
Do You Need Legal Counsel During a Divorce?
It can be tricky determining when to have legal counsel during a divorce. Here are a few instances where you might need a divorce lawyer:
- Contested divorce
- Past physical abuse from a spouse
- Fear of violence
- Vindictive or lying spouse
- Spouse has attorney
If you and your spouse are willing to work together, you can have an uncontested divorce. However, if your spouse is disputing the divorce, it becomes a contested divorce, and hiring a divorce lawyer would be a good idea.
Next, anytime domestic abuse is a part of your story, a lawyer can make sure you get to tell your side of the story. You should especially hire a lawyer if you’re afraid further domestic violence could take place.
For instance, do you think that you’re soon to be ex-spouse might hurt your kids, or hurt you? Or are you afraid your spouse might come and take your property? If yes, your lawyer can file a temporary restraining order, to help keep you, your kids, and your property safe.
Tips for Finding the Right Type of Legal Counsel
Are you starting to think that a lawyer could be in your best interest? If yes, you’ll want to make sure you hire the right person for your case.
Here a few things to consider before hiring an attorney:
- Area of expertise
- Payment options
- Legal team resources
- Communication and timeliness
- Personality and level of comfort
Start by asking friends and family members for attorney referrals. You can also do a quick online search for local lawyers, and start reading the customer reviews.
Next, make sure that the attorney you’re considering has direct experience handling the type of case you’re dealing with. Moving on, find out whether your attorney will be working alone, or if they’ll have a legal team.
If the lawyer is handling everything themselves, it’ll likely be more expensive than if they have paralegals to lighten the load. Also, find out if the lawyer will be willing to work with you when it comes to payments. Certain attorneys are more than willing to work out payment plans or offer you ways to discount their services.
Finally, once you find an experienced lawyer, that will work with your budget, schedule a free consultation. During the consultation, if you don’t like the lawyer’s style of communication or personality, keep looking. After all, you need to be able to trust your attorney and feel comfortable speaking with them.
What If You Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
Let’s say someone is suing you, and you can’t afford a lawyer. Now what? If the lawsuit is being brought against you, you can file an answer to respond to the complaint.
Filing an answer doesn’t mean you’re accepting fault for the situation. Instead, when you file an answer it gives you a chance to express where you stand in the case.
You’re also letting the court know that you plan on defending the allegations of the lawsuit. Finally, by filing an answer you can avoid the plaintiff getting a default judgment.
Win Your Court Case
Now you know more about when it’s a good idea to hire legal counsel before going to court. What’s 1 new thing our article was able to help you learn? Were you surprised to find out that even small claims cases can benefit from hiring an attorney?
Whatever you were able to learn, we hope our article will help you win your case! For more ways to win, explore the rest of this site.