Legal Tips: When to Seek Legal Counsel

Legal Tips: When to Seek Legal Counsel

In the U.S. alone, more than 1.35 million attorneys help clients every day. However, every lawyer brings a unique skill set to the table. For that reason, you need to carefully consider which legal professional you hire when you find yourself seeking counsel.

Below are some times when you’ll want to start searching locally or regionally for the right lawyer for your particular situation. Be sure to start your investigation early. You don’t want to lose any time in finding someone who can help you out. Plus, you might be against tight filing deadlines and statutes of limitations. You certainly don’t want to miss your window of opportunity to receive compensation or have your day in court.

Having Financial Difficulty?

According to most sources, Americans are collectively dealing with nearly $14 trillion in debt. Of course, being in debt isn’t always overwhelming. But sometimes, debt can be tough to get out from under. Let’s say you lose your job, your spouse also loses income, and you experience a medical emergency that costs tens of thousands of dollars. Suddenly, you have zero savings and you’re struggling to make ends meet.

At that point, you may want to contact a bankruptcy attorney to find out your options. Calling a lawyer who specializes in helping people navigate bankruptcy rules makes sense. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. It just means that you’ve done your homework.

What can you expect from a meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer? You’ll need to be honest about your circumstances and have a decent understanding of how far in debt you are. Your lawyer will probably use tests to discover the best way to help you get out from under the burden of your debt load. From that point, you can decide if you want to move forward with bankruptcy, or if a plan to consolidate your debt some other way may make more sense.

Been Involved in an Accident?

Every year, about six million vehicle accidents occur on American highways. After getting into a car crash, you might end up with serious injuries, perhaps life-threatening ones. Even if they present themselves weeks later, as can happen with some traumatic brain injuries and concussions, you may have reason to file for damages against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company.

Working with a personal injury attorney makes the process much simpler. Why? First of all, you don’t have to worry about filing tons of paperwork. Secondly, you won’t have to negotiate with the at-fault person’s insurance attorneys, many of whom are well-trained to be difficult and avoid paying out as much as they might. Finally, you need to get yourself back to health. The stress of a personal injury lawsuit might make that challenging, if not practically impossible.

An accident injury attorney will work on your behalf, often for little or no upfront compensation. Your lawyer may simply work on a contingent fee, which means that you will pay the lawyer out of whatever money you recover from the insurance carrier or even the at-fault driver. Typically, the percentage that a personal injury lawyer takes from the overall amount can be as much as 30% or 40%. However, if you were left to your own devices, you might get much less or not try to negotiate for a bigger settlement at all.

Be sure to contact a lawyer as soon as you can after you are hurt in an accident. All states have statutes of limitation governing the time period between your collision and when you can no longer file for damages.

Gotten Arrested?

Most people never get charged with criminal activity. If you do, you’ll undoubtedly feel a surge of emotions from anger to embarrassment. Nevertheless, try to think logically amidst all those feelings and reach out to a lawyer to defend you.

A criminal defense attorney is trained not to pass judgment, but to get you the best deal, even if you’re guilty of the alleged crime. Whether this is your first arrest or you’ve been arrested in the past, having a lawyer on your side makes life less challenging. A criminal defense lawyer can also help you understand how to act, what to say, and even what to wear to your trial or court appearance. What about bail bonds? These can be scary times but a knowledgable, skilled, and caring attorney can help you throughout these intimidating and stressful situations.

You can expect to pay out of pocket for criminal defense counsel, but the money goes toward reducing or eliminating your criminal record. If you do nothing and don’t hire a lawyer yourself, you will be represented by someone who might not have the same focus because they work for the court system instead of for you directly.

Not convinced you need a criminal defense attorney? Consider that having a criminal record can make it tougher to get a loan, keep your job, get hired somewhere else, or rent an apartment. Knowing that, you should always opt to cover your legal bases and at least seek a free consultation with a knowledgeable legal professional.

Want to Sue a Company in Civil Court?

“I’m going to sue!” Plenty of people make that statement, but most don’t follow through. Nonetheless, if you feel that suing a corporate entity makes sense, you’ll need to hire a business litigation attorney.

Look for a civil litigation lawyer who has worked on cases similar to yours, if possible. Ask about your lawyer’s records, too. Don’t expect your civil business attorney to have a long list of trials, though. A fair amount of civil lawsuits never make it in front of a juried trial. In fact, the goal is often to settle out of court because it tends to be cheaper and simpler for both sides. Additionally, it makes the lawsuit go away faster, which may be a boon for the company you want to sue.

Dealing With an Estate Problem?

When most people think about estate planning, they picture wills and trusts. But what happens when something goes wrong with an estate? It happens more often than you might imagine.

For instance, let’s say that you’ve learned you’re going to inherit funds after your uncle passes away. However, you’re not certain that the trustee in charge of those funds is being responsible. Over time, you’re nagged by thoughts that the trustee may even be deliberately negligent, not just irresponsible.

At that point, you would be wise to contact a probate litigation attorney to discuss your concerns. The lawyer will listen to your situation and provide you with feedback. Many lawyers do this free of charge, which is wonderful because you get the chance to learn more about whether or not your fears are well-founded.

What happens if the probate litigation lawyer thinks that you should pursue a case against the trustee? At that point, you can decide what to do. You might even want to bring in other relatives who will inherit to see if they want to tackle the problem together.

Suffered an Injury on the Job?

Lots of people work in occupations that put them at risk for on-the-job accidents. Some high-risk careers include construction, mining, trucking, general transportation, and manufacturing. But anyone can be hurt while working for an employer.

Usually, if you get hurt on the job, you’ll be eligible for workers’ compensation. All employers of a certain size are required to carry a certain amount of workers’ compensation insurance that aligns with state and industry regulations. When you can’t work because of a work-experienced injury, you are paid through workers’ compensation insurance to get well.

The issue with workers’ compensation, though, is that it might not cover your injury. Your claim could be refused. Or, the worker’s compensation insurance may offer you a settlement that just won’t cover all the expenses you’ll face, such as lost wages and medical bills.

That’s when partnering with a work injury attorney may make sense. Work injury lawyers specialize in helping victims of on-the-job accidents, as well as family members whose loved ones have been killed during the course of work. Your attorney can do everything from help you resubmit a rejected initial workers’ compensation claim to work to get you a better settlement deal. If necessary, the attorney may advise you to initiate a lawsuit against either your employer or the workers’ compensation carrier. Of course, whether you pursue the advice is up to you. However, you’ll at least have a professional’s opinion to guide your moves.

Need a Business License?

Are you thinking about opening your own company? You may need a business license, depending on what line of work you get into. For instance, if you’re interested in being able to call yourself a FINRA investment banking representative, you’ll first need to pass a FINRA investment banking license exam. Otherwise, you’ll be out of compliance and unable to start your business.

Some lawyers specialize in assisting people with getting or renewing a business license, especially if there’s some type of problem preventing the client from easily obtaining the license. What could stand in the way of getting a business license? You might have a criminal record or your identity could have been stolen, causing something on your record to be amiss.

Of course, nothing has to be wrong to seek out a business license attorney. Some lawyers in this field merely work with people to ensure they have all the licenses they need to snag clients and win deals. In any case, it never hurts to just contact a local business license lawyer to initiate a discussion. Initial conversations usually cost very little, and they might even be free of charge. All you’ll invest is your time until you contractually arrange to hire the attorney..

Wondering About Digital Legalities?

Many people refer to the Internet as the “wild west,” as if laws don’t really exist online. Be assured that they do, and you have to make sure your digital strategy is in compliance. If it isn’t, you could be at the wrong end of a lawsuit.

Take digital copyright law, for instance. Are you certain that all your digital marketing processes are as airtight as they could be? Are you at any risk because of something you’re doing that you might not even realize is illegal or unethical?

Instead of opening your company up to a host of legal issues, speak with a lawyer who has a deep understanding of digital copyright and related laws. Ask how you can remain aboveboard in all your digital dealings. And, of course, if you believe someone has improperly or illegally used your digital assets, you may be well in your rights to use a lawyer to help you get justice.

Want to Explore a Medical Malpractice Claim?

We’d like to believe that every time we go to a physician or head to the hospital that nothing bad will happen. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a reality.

What is medical malpractice? In a nutshell, it’s when doctors or other healthcare professionals such as nurses, anesthesiologists, and physicians’ assistants act negligently either on purpose or by mistake. A surgeon might leave a piece of equipment inside a patient, for instance. Or a nurse could give a patient the wrong dosage of a prescribed medication. The end result involves issues for the patients. Some patients who are victims of medical malpractice never recover or die from their injuries.

If you believe that you’ve experienced medical malpractice, or you suspect that someone you care about was hurt or killed due to medical malpractice, seek out an attorney who concentrates on this area of law. Medical malpractice is a serious problem and deserves to be spotlighted whenever possible. Don’t allow negligence among healthcare professionals to go unchecked, especially if you suspect that it’s an ongoing issue at a particular facility or with a certain doctor.

Lawyers, like all experts, count on you to make the first move so they can provide their expertise. At the first indication that you could need an attorney’s counsel, pick up the phone, or send a law firm an exploratory email. You have nothing to lose and education to gain.

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