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5 Times When You Should Hire A Lawyer

Maybe you were recently injured because another driver was on their cell phone when they slammed into your car. The other insurance company has offered you a settlement, and you are not sure if you need a lawyer or not. Don't make the mistake of not hiring a lawyer when you need one. Here are some common scenarios where you should hire an attorney — or at least talk with one as most offer free consultations.

#1 You’ve Been Charged With A Drug Crime

Were you recently arrested for drug possession? According to Anchorage criminal defense attorney D. Scott Dattan, “the consequences of a drug conviction can be severe.” Depending on the circumstances, you could face as much as 20 years to life in prison for possessing illegal substances, which is why you need the right kind of attorney to fight your case.

If you are charged with a drug offense, you need a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense law. A criminal defense attorney fulfills many important roles during a criminal case. You can expect them to be there throughout the entire process from arrest to appeals advocating on your behalf.  

#2 You Were Injured In A Car Accident

If you were in an accident and was not injured, then you probably don't need an attorney. However, what if you have suffered severe injuries? If you have suffered serious injuries in an auto accident, Don't make the mistake of settling with the other person's insurance company. You need to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury lawsuits to represent your best interests.  

Being injured in an accident could change your entire life. You might have thousands of dollars in medical expenses and not be able to work. If the other driver was distracted or negligent, then they should be responsible for paying for your medical bills. However, if you represent yourself or take a settlement from the insurance company, then that might not happen.

Often, accidents occur as a result of distractions, such as cell phones. Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons for car accidents in Texas, according to San Antonio Car Accident Attorney Louis Patino. It can be difficult to prove that another driver was distracted or on their phone as there are privacy laws surrounding cell phone records. However, an excellent personal injury attorney will know how to subpoena the other driver's cell phone records so that you can prove that the other driver was distracted.

#3 You Are Thinking About Filing Bankruptcy

Are you thinking about filing bankruptcy? If so, then you are probably pretty strapped for cash. Filing bankruptcy is a bit of a catch 22. You need to declare bankruptcy because you are in rough financial shape. However, it costs money to file. To save money on your bankruptcy, you might be thinking of filing without an attorney. If you are thinking about going this route, it is essential to understand that the bankruptcy code is quite complicated. You will have to fill out a lot of paperwork, and it has to be correct and accurate. Yelena Gurevich, a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney, says "one mistake and you could be in worse financial shape than you already are in." If you are considering filing Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the law is even more complicated. It is highly unlikely to have a successful Chapter 11 bankruptcy without legal representation, according to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorneys in Los Angeles.

#4 You Were Wrongfully Terminated From Your Job

In most states, employment is at-will, which means that the employer or employee can end the employment at any time. So, if you were fired for calling into work too many times, your employer has the right to terminate you. However, that does not mean that your employer has the right to fire you for any reason at all. There are some exceptions to at-will termination. One of those exceptions is discrimination. Your employer is not allowed to fire you because of your race, religion or age. Another example of wrongful termination will be if you are fired because you refuse to break the law. Let's say that you work in a medical billing office, and your employer asks you to falsify records related to insurance claims. You refuse to do so, and then you are fired. In this situation, you should contact a lawyer who specializes in wrongful termination.

#5 When It’s Time To Set Up A Will

If you have not made a will or updated yours in a long time, then you need to talk to an estate and probate lawyer. Setting up a will well in advance will help prevent legal disputes over your property after you die. You should have a will set up by the time you have your first child. It should be updated in the following situations:

  • A significant increase in income - Maybe you had exceptional luck with a business investment or the good fortune to win the lottery. In cases like these, you would want to update your will.
  • Changes in family relationships - If you divorce or marry, then you should update your will.
  • Death of a spouse - While it might be hard to think about making any significant changes while you are dealing with grief, it is important to update your will as soon as possible.
  • Changes in the law - The law frequently changes when it comes to the transfer of assets. If you have not changed your will in ten years, then at least have a free consultation with an estate and probate lawyer to determine if you need to change your will.

Still not sure if you need an attorney? If that is the case, then it is probably a good idea to have a lawyer review your case. In most cases, it doesn’t cost anything for a consultation.