How Do I Know if I Need a Lawyer?


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There are times in your life when you may be faced with legal issues. If you are injured due to no fault of your own, you may need legal representation to help you navigate the system. This article lists some of these situations that may require you to hire help.

“Do I need a lawyer?” This is a question most of us hope to not have to answer. However, there are times in your life when you will be in need of a lawyer to help you navigate a situation.

So, when that question comes up what should you do?

Here are a few situations that may require legal representation:

- Were you injured in a motor vehicle or truck wreck?
- Did
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you get hurt at a store or someone’s house?
- Have you been wrongfully arrested?
- Were you injured from a slip and fall?
- Was there a medical error that caused your injury?

Most people do not have a lawyer on stand-by. If you decide to hire a lawyer, keep these points in mind. Remember, no lawyer can guarantee you the outcome of a case. A lawyer should, however, work diligently to put you in the best position to win your case. And, also remember that no two cases are the same. I’ve heard the story of the same lawsuit with the same facts being tried twice with two drastically different results. Even though, the lawyers were the same, the judge was the same, the facts were the same, the witnesses were the same, but the juries were different. Therefore, so were the results.

Do I need a lawyer for a motor vehicle wreck?

When you or a family member are hurt in a traffic wreck, a personal injury claim can become very complex. There are many issues to unravel and handle. These include: determining who was at fault and the comparative negligence of those involved; the amount of compensation due; dealing with insurance companies, including automobile and health insurance; determining which insurance policies are available and which insurance companies are responsible for payment. An insurance company adjuster may be calling you after an accident to speak with you.

Also, your case may require expert testimony to prove what happened and why. Experts can testify on your behalf. An attorney can guide you through the process as well as find the experts needed to win your case.

Have you been falsely arrested?

There are very complex legal questions to answer after you have been wrongfully arrested. These may include which claims to make – state or federal. So to begin with, an investigation has to be performed to determine whether your rights were violated under the prevailing law. A lawyer can answer these questions for you.

Your attorney can also help you determine the monetary compensation due to you for damage to your reputation, the loss of freedom while being detained and jailed, and the humiliation, shame, embarrassment, and mental shock and suffering you endured for being wrongly arrested.

Are you going up against the “big guys”?

A hospital, a trucking company, or an insurance company knows how to fight these cases. As a matter of fact, they usually have armies of attorneys ready to defend them from any claim of wrong doing on their part. A well-versed attorney who knows the law can fight them for you. Trying to take on an experienced insurance company, trucking company, or hospital is like trying to perform surgery on yourself. Do you have the knowledge to perform surgery on yourself?

What would a lawyer do that I couldn’t do for myself?

A lawyer will assess your legal and factual issues and explain your legal options and what you can reasonably likely expect as your case progresses. Lawyers are able to take necessary actions to protect your legal rights. For example, a lawyer can research the law, interview witnesses, collect records, talk to experts, and plan a legal strategy to put you in an advantageous position to win.

Is a lawyer expensive?

Let’s face it, lawyers are expensive. Lawyer fees can range from $175.00 an hour up to $1000 or more an hour. Do you have that much money to retain a lawyer? The big companies do. So, how are you able to afford a lawyer to protect your legal rights? Typically, you may be able to obtain a free initial consultation. A lawyer will tell you if they think you have a case. But, after that, you will likely have to hire a lawyer who will agree to take your case on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you should ask the lawyer if he or she will handle your case on a contingency fee. As a consequence, saving money by not hiring a lawyer might end up costing you in the long run, since you do not know the value of your case.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thomas Creech Jr., ESQ
Thomas Creech has been a lawyer since 1997. His family’s roots in the legal profession date back to the early 1900’s when his great-grandfather began practicing law. Thomas Creech began his legal career in the courtroom serving as a law clerk to a judge. After his experience as a judicial law clerk, Thomas Creech became a prosecutor where he worked with law enforcement to seek justice in the courtroom on behalf victims of crime.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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