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This is one of those things no one ever really expects to have to do.
In fact, when you're in an emergency situation it can almost feel so real that you have to take the steps you have to take. If it's the first time you've been in a certain situation, it can feel pretty overwhelming and you don't always know what to do. I know even the active doing our estate planning with an official lawyer was a surreal experience for my husband and I, and that was just precautionary. Being in a real emergency where you decide you need a lawyer can be even more bizarre of an experience.
How do you even know when you hire a lawyer?
Even if you know you’d benefit from professional help, the added expense of hiring a lawyer can seem like piling on. But there are some circumstances when hiring a lawyer is the best course of action. How do you know when you need a pro in your corner?
The truth is that you don’t always need legal representation.
If you’re capable of understanding and defending your interests, you might be equipped to stand up for yourself. Small claims court hearings like tenant-landlord battles are a good example. Sometimes just knowing your basic rights is enough. With Google search to the rescue, you may be able to go it alone.
If you need a little support, consider calling in a friend who’s been in your shoes before, or an older wiser family member with a nose for the law.
You can also consult with a lawyer without actually hiring them. I would highly advise this route because getting a consultation is smart whether you end up hiring the person or not. If you do hire a lawyer, you should interview a few of them to make sure you get the right one.
If you were unfortunate enough to have been involved in a car crash, and someone was hurt—or there was a fatality—you should absolutely hire a lawyer.
Medical bills for accident-related injuries can go through the roof as many conditions will have implications for life. A head injury that causes speech impediments might require life-long speech therapy. Your respective insurance companies will manage the basic liability decisions, but it is advisable to find more info on what legal representation can do for you in this situation.
While it’s extremely unpleasant to even contemplate if a death has occurred as a result of an accident you have been involved in, hiring a lawyer is not only the smart but the responsible thing to do.
Whether the deceased was a passenger in your car or an employee of your organization, you want to make sure that compensation is provided to those who are entitled to it. And compensation can be more than you expect. For example, if the deceased was the sole breadwinner for a family, that family will need to be supported for what would have been the full course of the deceased’s working life.
When the stakes are life and death, it can be uncomfortable to think about financial compensation, but regardless of who was at fault, it’s best to make sure that both parties are honest and fair.
Know that old line, whatever you say may be used against you?
Not rocket science, this one, but do not under any circumstances attempt to defend yourself if you have been charged with a crime.
Even a small misdemeanor of which you are not even guilty can negatively impact your future in terms of immigration, employment, and/or your ability to borrow capital, along with a number of other serious implications. Depending on the seriousness of your criminal charge, you might want to look into hiring the best law professional you can possibly afford.
Before you choose one, do your homework by perusing lawyers’ websites and getting word-of-mouth recommendations, ideally from an acquaintance who has had brushes with the law in the past. Not everyone has ready cash to hire a lawyer at the drop of a hat, so if you find yourself in a jam, a public defender should be appointed for you.
Hiring a lawyer is not always essential or even in your best interests, but there are certain situations you should not attempt to manage on your own.
If taking measures to keep your family safe is a priority, it’s important to understand when hiring a lawyer falls into that category. These tips will help you work out if you need legal help.
Founder | Contributor
Liz is a wife, mom, blogger, coder (and unabashed digital nerd), PhD student (and huge psychology geek), workout masochist, and occasional human being. She founded The Stay Sane Mom after marrying into the role of stepmom to a preteen girl (and Instagram addict) and shortly thereafter having her first bio kid (now a toddlernado supreme). Her goal is to provide tools and support to help other capable, sleep-deprived, soul-hungry moms master their domains so they have the time and energy to be more than just 'mom'.
Stay Sane Mom gives support to the over-worked, under-slept, marker-stained, soul-hungry moms of the world, so they can be more than just "mom".
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