Lawyers can be very helpful. They are knowledgeable in the law, they can advocate for your rights, they will fight to see justice done on your behalf, and they can help you ensure that you come out of a terrible situation in the best possible way. The one biggest reason why people hesitate when calling a lawyer for help is simple: cost.
Good lawyers are very, very good, and can mean the difference between 20 years spent in abysmal living conditions after a depressing verdict, or 20 years spent enjoying life with your family and thanking your lucky stars. But good lawyers also cost good money, and this is what scares people off. However, there is a simple way to determine whether or not your legal matters are worth calling a lawyer – and that simple way is through determining the exact cost of getting a lawyer, versus the cost of not getting one.
There are certain situations in life where not having a skilled lawyer on your side can mean you will suffer far more in damages, costs and time spent fighting in the court of law, than if you had simply gotten a good lawyer. Like a good tool, going with the cheapest option will often cost you more in the long run – and with the law, having no lawyer or a bad lawyer is something you simply cannot afford sometimes.
While most legal matters are flexible in many cases – there are times when getting a lawyer might not be necessary depending on the circumstances of the situation – here are four clear-cut examples of when you should most definitely enlist the help of a legal professional and their resources.
1. Dealing With Litigation
Regardless of whether it’s a frivolous lawsuit, a personal injury claim, or something else, there is never room for chance when facing a lawsuit. If you’re faced with litigation or worse yet, a criminal charge, then it is absolutely necessary to get a lawyer. Similarly, if you or your business have been backed into a corner and the only way out financially is by suing, don’t even consider it without a lawyer.
Courtroom battles are not enjoyable, and cases that last for months and months are even less so – but there are times in life when these things cannot be avoided. Making the most out of the situation involves finding the legal assistance you need to help you win the case. Lawyers and their law firms are valuable assets to both private individuals and companies alike, as they command a wealth of resources at their disposal to deal with any troubles that might be headed your way.
A lawyer does not just stand alone in defending you in cases of litigation. From having medical experts and private investigators on their side, to commanding the legal force necessary to deal with any mountain of paperwork, a law firm may end up being the one thing standing between you and a hefty loss.
2. Buying and/or Selling a Business
It is one thing to start a business and it is an entirely different matter to take over an existing venture. If you are in the market to buy or sell a company, you need a lawyer.
Buying and owning a business means possessing an inherent amount of risk. Businesses can be volatile. Industries can implode. Without proper management and a little finesse, your investment can turn an asset into a major liability.
Lawyers are there to help you ensure that you’re making all the right legal decisions, and aren’t buying yourself into a terrible deal with a crippling contract. In the case of buying, a lawyer stands by your side for counsel and guidance – not as a major decision maker. A lawyer can help examine every contract and shred of legal writing, and give you advice on what terms to accept and what terms not to accept. All final decision making will have to be yours, naturally.
When it comes to selling, a lawyer can be arguably even more invaluable. Selling a business is ultimately all about looking in from a buyer’s perspective and creating a reason for a good sell. You want to make your business attractive, and simply the ownership transfer process. Getting a lawyer can help you round up a team necessary to create an attractive package that makes a sale easier.
3. Estate Planning
It does not take much effort to draft and finish a will – but then again, a will is not your best option when it comes to managing your wealth for the event of your death. If you want something more comprehensive, then creating a revocable living trust is your best bet – and doing so without legal help can be quite time consuming and confusing.
If you only own a few properties, a lawyer can help you set up all your assets in such a way that your accounts, your real estate and other assets go to the right beneficiaries.
There is no need to go through the nuisance of probate – through a trust or through other estate planning tools, and with some legal help, you can end up saving your beneficiaries a large sum of money otherwise paid in fees or time spent in court.
4. Filing for Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is never the end of a person or their dreams of entrepreneurship, but rather, it’s a chance to start over. Yet there’s more to going bankrupt than a little bit of paperwork. A bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out what type of bankruptcy you best qualify for, and then, they can help you in the details of filing and undergoing the entire process.
When filing for bankruptcy, the number one thing that is checked for is the chance of bankruptcy fraud. This is a case of serious legal matters, and some legal representation will help make sure that your case is airtight to avoid wasting valuable time on suspicions and irregularities.
Not All Legal Matters Require Hiring an Attorney
Having a legal professional on your side when arguing your innocence in a car accident is necessary. Having a legal professional at your side as soon after an accident as possible to help you collect evidence and insure you against any potential litigation or arm you in case you have to reach for litigation as a way to get compensated, is also necessary.
Having a legal professional on your side when an accident is clean-cut and between two friends, however, may be excessive. For a more clear example, you won’t need a lawyer to help you draft up the things you need to write a will, or start a business. These are examples of things you can do on your own without having to spend money and time to find someone.
However, the above legal matters are examples of times when not getting a lawyer can land you in some serious trouble. When in doubt, simply compare the projected price of a lawyer for their time and consultation, versus what you stand to lose in the worst case scenario – and if you see serious benefits from getting some help, then you should really consider it.