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IT NEVER HURTS TO TALK TO A LAWYER.
It is prudent and it may be the best thing you can do if you are facing a legal problem that you can't resolve yourself. You can often arrange a free half hour consultation with a lawyer who will talk to you on the matter.
WHEN DO YOU NEED A LAWYER'S HELP?
Sometimes the need for a lawyer is obvious. For example, you've been served with a lawsuit. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, even if the police just claim they want you to come in for a "talk." You need a lawyer. You know that.
Obviously people hire lawyers for advice and legal counsel or to prepare legal documents all of the time, in all kinds of situations.
While you may be able to get through a legal problem without hiring a lawyer, you should always remember that when you represent yourself, you might have a "fool for a client," as the saying goes.
However, given the cost of lawyers today, you may not have a choice, but consider the options? Hiring a lawyer is not an easy decision in most cases.
CONSIDER WHAT YOU STAND
TO WIN OR LOSE:
Ask yourself "What will it cost me if I lose?"
When your finances or liberties are in serious jeopardy, the obvious answer is to simply must get a lawyer.
A parking ticket is not something for which you need a lawyer. It is just a minor and trivial legal problem. You don't usually need a paralegal or lawyer to pay the fine or even to fight the ticket. Pay it by mail, or go to court and see if you can get it thrown out.
Sometimes you can win all by yourself. Your insurance rates are part of your decision. Although a lawyer or para may cost more than the fine, it will still be a bargain if getting the ticket tossed, stops your insurance rates from going up for several years.
However, if you have a several unpaid parking tickets and a warrant has been issued for your arrest and or jail, a lawyer can help you resolve the situation, and perhaps reduce your fines and even keep you out of jail.
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BEFORE YOU HIRE A LAWYER
Look at alternative sources to resolve your legal issues. For example:
A phone call to the other side, may sort things out if you have a customer or product dispute.
Call and see if there is a customer service department which may be all your need to effectively address and resolve your problems and complaints. Keep good notes just in case.
Look for appropriate community groups such as elder associations, civil rights groups. There are often organizations that can help you with advice and information. Again keep notes of all contacts, just in case
YOU MUST CONSIDER THE COST OF LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE TIME AND EXPENSE OF LITIGATION.
Civil suits can drag on for years. By the time it gets to trial, most settle on the court house steps, largely because both sides are fed up and want the matter to just go away
In other case, what you want may not be black and white. If you feel you were unfairly or unlawfully fired , you might just want to get your job back or you may want to be sure you get fair severance pay and good references.
If you suffered an injury from a defective product, you might wish to recover money damages.
What if you need to seek an injunction against someone to stop them from doing something which cannot be undone.
Think about what you want, how much time and money the problem is worth to you before you hire a lawyer. Ask a lawyer if the problem is really worth suing over. You must be realistic about your chances of winning and what your case is worth. Your lawyer will help you to decide.
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WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSULT A LAWYER?
In many situations, especially in personal injury matters, you must act promptly.
But even if you think you have lots of time to consider your alternatives, deadlines such as sneak up on you and lawyers need time to prepare. So it's always better to start looking for a lawyer sooner than later.
If you've been injured in an accident, keep in mind that there are time limits on your right to file a lawsuit. These "statutes of limitation" vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If you are injured falling on the sidewalk, you need to sue the city and they often demand notice within days of your accident.
IF YOU AREN'T SURE WHAT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ARE,
it might be worth your time and expense to retain a lawyer to evaluate your situation and advise you on alternative courses of action. Even if you end up having to pay a few hundred dollars for to consult with an attorney, it could be a very wise investment that ultimately saves you time and money
What Do You Really Want? The $64 question....
If you are a defendant in a civil suit or have been charged with a crime there is no question of what you want. In these cases, you want to keep your money out of your adversary's pocket or avoid criminal trials, or convictions if possible and at the least minimize the damage or risk you face. Those are easy questions.
THINK ABOUT MEDIATION OR ARBITRATION AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO A LAW SUIT:
Most courts will require you to face a mediator before going to a trial. So why not try mediation before you sue?
Often disputes are resolved out of court by using mediation or arbitration services.
FOR PEACE OF MIND CONSULT A LAWYER. MOST OFFER FREE CONSULTATIONS.
Face the music and consult a lawyer so you know what you are facing. You should consult experienced lawyers for important matters such as prenup agreements, criminal matters, real estate sale or purchases, tax and estate planning, drafting your will and trusts, negotiating business deals and especially in divorce, support, custody and family law matters. Even if adopting children.