When a legal situation arises, the first thing most people think to do is hire a lawyer. However, there are times when it may not be worth it because it’s actually not worth it (like when fighting a speeding ticket) or, more often, times when it may very well be worth it, but the cost feels prohibitive. That being said, oftentimes hiring a lawyer may make a lot more sense than you initially realize. Here are 10 reasons hiring an attorney may be best decision you can make.
(And don’t forget… in many cases you can hire a lawyer to just handle certain parts of your legal matter, which might be the perfect option depending on the complexity of the matter and your financial situation.)
1. A lawyer can help you get better financial results.
Most people don’t hire a lawyer because they’re scared of how much money it will cost, but the truth is having a lawyer on your side almost always means you’ll get better results than if you represent yourself. Get an estimate of fees from several lawyers and then do a cost-benefit analysis based on the cost of hiring a lawyer in relation to the benefit (which might not just be monetary) of having someone to represent you.
2. It might be more costly to represent yourself.
If you’re involved in a civil case that involves a monetary dispute, there’s a chance if you represent yourself, you’ll lose. Also, in some cases, if you represent yourself, you may lose and be ordered to pay the other side’s costs. So now, instead of getting some kind of compensation or relief, you actually owe them money.
In addition, there are certain types of cases, like car accident lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, personal injury cases, debt collection cases, and more where the lawyer may work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay anything up-front, but will give the lawyer a percentage of the settlement awarded to you.
3. Your case is complicated.
You may think your case is straightforward and that you can handle it yourself, but a lawyer may have insight about issues that could arise that you never anticipated. If you don’t know much about the law or aren’t willing to put in a lot of work learning about the law and all of the legal terms, rules, and contracts that come with a court case, it may behoove you to have someone on your side who knows how everything works and is looking out for your best interests. Just think of all the long hours of homework an attorney can save you from.
It might not be fair, but the truth is that if the other party has legal representation, they have a better shot at winning. Not only will their attorney know all of the complications of the law, they’ll be able to take advantage of the fact that you don’t. In addition to all of that, hiring an attorney will show the other side that you mean business.
5. You’re dealing with complicated contracts.
Whether you’re dealing with estate planning, business matters, tax issues, or any contact that is legally binding, it’s imperative that you understand all of the terms. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t understand the fine print, or simply don’t know how to prepare a contract, hiring a lawyer can help you avoid potential legal problems months or years down the road.
6. You want everything handled and filed properly.
Do you know how to handle procedural issues, like court deadlines, the protocol for filing legal documents, and everything else that can come up with a legal case? Representing yourself means figuring all of that out. The bad news is that one mistake can negatively impact you case or, even worse: end up with your case getting thrown out. A lawyer will know how to do everything properly, from filing a petition or complaint to paying court fees to dealing with the county clerk, and doing all of the waiting in line that comes with that.
7. You value complete confidentiality.
Lawyers must adhere to strict standards when it comes to keeping you personal information private. In order to have the greatest chance at the best possible outcome, you may need to disclose sensitive or private matters, but all of that information (with a few rare exceptions) remains confidential. When you hire a lawyer, you can rest easy knowing that your private information can never be disclosed.
Your attorney will advise you on strategy and tactics, including where to file your lawsuit, whether to file a response, whether to ask for a jury, whether to settle or take a plea bargain, appealing your case if necessary, and any other situations that may arise during your case.
9. You want solid advice.
Unlike a friend or an insurance agent, a lawyer is obligated to provide you with all of your available options. In fact, your lawyer will even reach out to other qualified professionals to get more information, if necessary. Ultimately, your attorney will give you all of the information you need and help you make the decision that’s best for you.
10. You want peace of mind.
It can never hurt to have a professional who knows the ins and outs of the system on you side. Hiring a lawyer will not only give you a much better shot at a favorable outcome, it will help you sleep so much better at night.