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When You Need a Lawyer (and When You Don’t)

There are some areas in life where you don’t want to go for the cheapest option; tattoos, medical care, and legal advice are perhaps my top three (of course a bad tattoo could lead to medical intervention and then seeking legal recourse which covers all areas).

However, there are times where you think you may need to pay for legal advice when actually you could avoid this cost (a cost that can be significant). If a potential or actual legal action involves an area where you have insurance (such as motor or home insurance) you should also check if your coverage extends to legal cover before organizing any private lawyer to act on your behalf.  

Here are some areas where you may need a lawyer (that you may not have thought of) and conversely areas where you may think you need a lawyer but that could not be the case; 

When you should consider obtaining a lawyer;

  • If you have been the victim of a DUI – If you or a loved one  are the victim of this  awful and fully preventable crime you should consider if legal recourse options are available to you by looking for a local DUI accident lawyer
  • If you think you have been discriminated against at work – Particularly if you have been fired and you believe the grounds are discrimination or wrongful termination. Lawyers specialize in this area staying up to date on the recent local and state laws and regulations to help you understand how to move forward. Undoubtedly, especially in larger companies, you can be sure the employer has legal advice, so you should consider seeking this too.  
  • If a marriage is ending – You may think that no matter what your marriage can end amicably and fairly with no lawyers involved, and maybe it will if both parties are not acting emotionally and agree on all aspects. But you should consider whether a dispassionate expert could come in handy. A lawyer can also advise of any local paperwork requirements or legal nuances of state divorce legislation that you may not be aware of even when the divorce is mutually agreed. 

When a lawyer may not be needed;

  • Simple wills – A simple will (for example leaving all items to your spouse or a single child) does not require a legal expert or legal witness, you simply need to follow local and national wording and witness requirements (such as your banker/accountant who may witness the document for a small or no fee). 
  • Non contested lawsuits – If someone is suing you and you accept the premise and the amount they are asking for consider whether you are going to benefit from additional legal advice or representation. Even if you have to appear in court to accept the judgement you do not necessarily need representation. Of course, you may be able to speak to a lawyer to check over the suit and confirm that by accepting responsibility there are no unforeseen circumstances without them representing you throughout the case in full, and perhaps this is the safest course of action that comes with a lower cost. 

Ultimately, these lists are not exhaustive and whenever accidents, fault, or legal paperwork is involved think twice about whether you do or do need a lawyer.