Although we may not like to admit it, there are plenty of reasons we need attorneys in our lives. It can for something as mundane as setting up a last will and testament to something far more more painful and personal, like hiring a bankruptcy attorney or a personal injury attorney. Many people are naturally suspicious of hiring attorneys, as they feel that they’ll somehow get cheated or have to pay exorbitant fees for their services. However, hiring an attorney is almost always incredibly helpful, especially if you’re dealing with a particularly sticky legal process, like a contested divorce or fighting for workers compensation. A good attorney can often mean the difference between winning or losing a case and getting the justice you deserve. So when is it really advantageous and necessary for you to have an attorney?
What Does an Attorney Do?
Perhaps the best known aspect of an attorney’s job is the oral part, popularized through countless movies and TV shows. They’ll make an argument for you in the courtroom, advocating, defending, and/or appealing your case. However, they do a lot of background work too, which is included but not limited to working on court papers (making drafts, reviewing, and conducting research), counseling you and offering legal advice, negotiating and working on contracts, and far more. Different attorneys specialize in certain functions, like carrying out wills, criminal defense, personal injury claims, etc. They’ll be both advocate and counselor and will work with you to make sure your needs are taken care of in court.
What are the Benefits of Using an Attorney?
Almost any venture that you engage in that involves money, property, or other assets has some kind of contract attached. The contracts aren’t written in what most people would call “plain English” and it’s easy for people to get confused and for some finer points to be missed. An attorney is well versed in the legal language and can help you navigate contracts, negotiate better terms if necessary, and keep you from being cheated or from giving away benefits that you wanted. For example, if you hire an attorney for Chapter 7 bankruptcy claims, the proven success rate is over 95% and the success rate for Chapter 13 claims is over 50%!
They’ll also defend your interests, making sure your privacy is respected, you’re not being unduly intimidated by other parties, and that your money stays right where it belongs. If you’re a part of the 75% of Americans who are pretty much just living paycheck-to-paycheck, you need that reassurance that your money is staying put and can’t needlessly be taken from you. A courtroom can seem a lot less intimidating when you have an attorney by your side who knows where things are going and how to handle any issues that might come up. They can also provide excellent mediation skills — something that can be especially important if you’re looking at divorce proceedings, for example.
When Do I Especially Need the Service of an Attorney?
Of course if you’re faced with a lawsuit or have been charged with a crime, the obvious next step is to hire an attorney. However, other areas might be a little more gray and up to personal discretion. However, if you feel like your money or your personal liberty is being threatened, you should consider hiring an attorney immediately. If you’re dealing with a complicated suit, like personal injury, serious bankruptcy, or divorce, seeking the help of an attorney might also be wise, especially if things are getting heated. Additionally, if you’re unsure of your rights, what’s at stake, or large amounts of money or property are involved, it’s probably wise to engage a lawyer to lay things out for you or offer counsel. Naturally, each individual will take his or her own course of action, but there are certainly times when legal counsel is strongly advised for your own benefit.
When in doubt, it’s probably best to start looking at attorneys, even if you’re just seeking some brief guidance. They can help steer you in the right direction and keep you out of serious legal trouble.