Most of us, at some point in our lives, will need the help of a lawyer. You may be purchasing or selling property, securing a contract at work, or involved in court proceedings.
Whatever the issue, a proficient lawyer should be able to make the process smoother and help protect your rights as a citizen or business. However, many of us may still feel hesitant about approaching a lawyer and engaging their services. Here are ten tell-tale signs that indicate it is time to get a lawyer involved on your behalf.
Ten Signs It Might Be Worth Hiring A Lawyer
Your Financial Security Is Threatened
According to experts at Bankrate.com over 70% of Americans have some level of savings that can be used in emergencies. However, most families could not live off those savings for longer than three months. Therefore, you must protect those savings whenever possible. Financial security can be threatened in numerous ways.
For example, if you are renovating your home you may be unsatisfied with the work of a contractor who is still trying to charge you for work completed. This threatens your financial security in two ways.
Firstly, you may need to pay for the same work to be carried out by another contractor which will double the cost, and secondly, if the work is of poor standard it may threaten the value of your home. A legal letter from a lawyer can help solve these issues with minimal risk to your bank balance.
No One Is Taking Responsibility
If you or a family member are involved in an accident that isn’t their fault and has a detrimental impact on their health or ability to work, then a lawyer’s expertise may be needed. Lawyers will help you calculate the amount you should be claiming for and will also argue the case if your claim is disputed by any other parties.
Insurers may refuse to pay out on a policy. Citizens or businesses might refuse to acknowledge responsibility for their negligence. In all of these cases, a lawyer can help you navigate the process of claiming what you and your family are entitled to.
In extreme cases, the accident may have resulted in the death of a family member. In which case a lawyer is extremely useful as they will take care of the dispute which could be traumatic during a period of grief.
You can learn more about wrongful death by speaking to a well-respected legal firm that deals in these types of cases. A good lawyer will be happy to speak to you about your rights as a bereaved family.
Your Job Is At Risk
In the USA, wrongful termination or wrongful discharge laws vary from state to state. However, all states do have some protection of worker’s rights. If you have been let go from a job for a reason that you suspect is grossly unfair or illegal, then an employment lawyer may be happy to take up your case and dispute the dismissal in court. If an employer has discriminated against you then you will be able to take this matter up legally.
Your Home Is Threatened
Your housing situation can be threatened in a variety of ways. For instance, if you are a tenant, your landlord may break their contractual obligations or try to evict you without proper notice.
If you own your property then it can be threatened by developments that will affect your living standards or the value of the property. An example of this would be a neighbor receiving permission to build an extension that encroaches on your land or even blocks access or sunlight into your property.
Similar to employment rights, your rights as a homeowner or tenant will vary from state to state. It is always best to seek legal advice from a law firm within the same legal jurisdiction area. A local law firm will be more aware of the specifics of your state laws and will be able to apply them with confidence to your case.
If your lifestyle is going to be massively affected by a change in the use or footprint of nearby properties, then a lawyer will be able to dispute the permission granted for the development or seek recompense for the issues it has caused for you and your home.
You Are Starting A Business
Any new business will have some form of contact at its heart. This could be a lease of premises, a contract between yourself and your first clients, or a contract with employees.
Whatever the contract is you will want it to be legally sound and as straightforward as possible. A lawyer can help you draft contracts that give you legal protection and allow you to carry out your business with peace of mind.
Your Reputation Has Been Tarnished
There are no federal laws against defamation and libel in the USA. However, many states do have laws that protect against this and they can be applied if your reputation has been seriously damaged by spurious claims.
If your reputation has been tarnished in such a way that it affects your social standing or ability to conduct business then you may be able to sue for damages. A trusted lawyer will be able to advise you on the best steps to take to get statements legally withdrawn, apologies, or compensation for your loss.
In these instances, it is always advisable to seek legal advice because you do not want to lose the case and be counter-sued for damages or costs caused by the trial or other legal proceedings. A legal firm will be able to look at your situation and make a recommendation based on whether they think your case is winnable.
Your Getting A Divorce
Divorces come in all shapes and sizes. Some can be incredibly difficult while others are more straightforward. However, even in the easiest of cases, it might be worth seeking legal representation to ensure that there is the proper paperwork in place that protects your rights in the future.
You do not want to go through a break-up and think it has been completed only for your ex-partner to make a claim against you further down the line. A lawyer can also give you an objective viewpoint during a stressful time where emotions can often run high.
You Are Being Harassed
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment is defined as “a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).”
If you suspect your boss or a colleague is inappropriately conducting themselves based on your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information, then you have good cause to file a harassment claim. Harassment can often be a traumatic experience and a lawyer will help you to make your claim without undue stress.
You Are Being Sued
If someone files a claim against you, accusing you of libel, harassment, or any of the other scenarios listed above then you will need the services of a lawyer. If the claim is unsubstantiated a lawyer will argue your case and appeal for proceedings to cease. They may also be able to claim back expenses incurred through the legal proceedings.
If a claim is made against you that is true, then a lawyer will seek to protect your rights and make efforts to ensure that the punishment or financial burden is as minimal as the scope of the law allows.
You Are Involved In A Criminal Court Case
If you have ever been arrested or charged with a criminal offense then you have the right to legal representation. An attorney is allowed to be present when you are being interviewed by the police and will protect your rights during any investigation.
You may be interviewed by the police as a witness or a victim, and the same rights to an attorney will still apply. A lawyer in these instances will ensure you do not accidentally perjure yourself or give reason to believe the crime did not take place.
In some instances, it may be difficult for the police to establish who the victim is (for example, in domestic abuse cases the abuser may try to protest their innocence by depicting themselves as a victim). A lawyer will help you navigate the investigation and will ensure your legal rights are upheld.
Finally, remember that trusted and well-respected lawyers will be able to quickly advise if their service is of use to you. If you think you may need a lawyer, an initial inquiry will help you establish whether you need their service.
A law firm will be happy to respond to an inquiry and advise on the best course of action. Do not be afraid to approach multiple law firms and engage the services of the one you had the most confidence in. If there is any doubt as to whether you might need a solicitor, then it is always worth picking up the phone or emailing a firm to explain your legal concerns.