Every year in the U.S., over 100 million cases are filed in the state trial courts, with an additional 400,000 filed in federal trial courts. The fact is, legal disputes are a fact of life for most people living in the US, and whether you are facing business or personal legal trouble, you may be wondering when is the right time to hire a lawyer.
This may be a paradox, because you may feel like hiring a lawyer will escalate the severity of the case and cost you more money than you would incur on your own. You see, every year, millions of Americans try to navigate the legal system on their own, and every year, millions of them lose their cases.
The question is, when is the best time to hire a lawyer? In this post, we’ll take you through a step by step guide on knowing the best time to hire legal representation.
If Your Adversary Has Hired a Lawyer
If the person you have a conflict with has sought legal representation for themselves, it’s a good indication that you need to do the same as well. It’s imperative that you do some research and hire a lawyer of your own because your chances of winning against a lawyer without one are very slim.
Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a business matter, a car accident case, or a personal injury case, the last thing you want to do is find yourself negotiating with or defending yourself against a professional barred lawyer. When it comes to the legal system, whether you’re facing a civil or criminal case, most complexities are almost impossible to anticipate unless you’re legally trained to do so.
If your adversary hints that they may talk to a lawyer about the situation, you need to take the initiative and talk to one yourself so you can prepare for a counter-attack. Once you hire a lawyer, bring them up to speed with your case as soon as possible so they can investigate and formulate the best possible strategy for your defense.
You Have to Notify Your Insurance Company
If you’re facing a legal matter that may involve your insurance company, like a personal injury case, or a car accident case, you may need to hire legal representation. If your insurance company is involved, you might have to notify them that there is potential for you to be sued. If you fail to send the notice within the given timeframe, your claim could be denied.
In this case, you would have to pay for all your legal expenses out of pocket and potentially bring about a side dispute with your insurance carrier about the lawsuit. This will waste valuable time and money and take your attention away from the initial case.
The Statute of Limitations Is Fast Approaching
In most states, there is a statute of limitations that offers a limited period of time for people to file claims. If you have a claim, you need to file against another person, it’s important for you to understand how long you have before the time given expires. Statutes of limitations are deadlines by which a person needs to file a case.
Once they expire, you can no longer file a case, or take any legal action against the other party. If for one reason or the other you have not filed the case and feel that the deadline is approaching, hiring a lawyer could help you expedite the process.
Maybe you have doubts about the deadline, and you’re just not sure when it is? In this case, a consultation with an attorney will give you clarity and help you make an informed decision about the way forward.
In most legal cases, you must file a case to preserve your claim. Sending a letter to your adversary notifying them that you intend to file a case is not sufficient enough in court.
The State Requires You to Have a Lawyer
Certain state laws don’t allow businesses to represent themselves in court. Depending on the jurisdiction where you file your claim, you may be required to hire a lawyer. You need to check and understand the laws that apply to your state.
You may find that the court will not only reject your filing but also hold you in default if you represent your business. Even if you find that your state allows you to represent your business in court, risking the future of your company may not be worth the money you may be saving by not hiring a lawyer. Litigation is an extremely serious matter.
Without legal representation, you risk your business, reputation, and tons of money if, in the end, the other party wins the case. Depending on your business structure, you may even end up with personal liability, meaning you’ll have to pay out the claim with your personal assets. This risk in itself is reason enough for you to hire a professional lawyer for any business disputes.
If You’re in Over Your Head
If your gut tells you you’re biting a lot more than you can chew, it’s probably right. Most laws are complicated, and they keep changing so representing yourself in court can be a challenge.
How much do you know about the laws regarding the case? How much time and effort can you put into researching and formulating defense strategies? How well can you understand legal concepts and terms?
Can you comfortably sign contracts, documents, and face court rules and opinions? How confident are you when it comes to expressing yourself? Can you face a judge, or even a jury and argue a case?
If you’re in a position where you simply can’t afford to lose the case because you face dire consequences like going to prison, then you need to hire a lawyer.
If Bodily Harm Is Involved
If you were involved in a car accident, a workplace injury, or any other matter where you sustained personal injuries, then you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Most personal injury cases and workers’ compensation cases can be complex and need the knowledge and expertise of a legal representative.
One of the best things about tort claims is that most lawyers charge on a contingency basis, which means you’ll only pay them after they win the case. Visit www.veronbice.com for more information about this or to find professional lawyers to help you out.
Signs That You Need to Hire a Lawyer
If you’re facing any of these circumstances, then you can be sure you need to hire a lawyer. Some things are hard to face on your own, and the legal system can be complicated to maneuver, in which case attorneys can make things a lot easier.
Beyond this, if you’re facing problems with your business, want the latest news, some great recipes, or general life advice, please check out our blog section where we have informative posts for you!