The number one reason people in America don?t use a lawyer when they have a legal issue is that they don?t know they need legal advice. The American Bar Foundation did a study that found two thirds of those surveyed had a civil justice issue. Half of them experienced serious consequences as a result, yet nearly 80% handled it on their own without a lawyer. You might think the main issue was cost; yet only 17% claimed this was their primary reason for not consulting a lawyer. The main reason was simply that they felt they either didn?t need a lawyer or that it wouldn?t matter if they had one.
But most of these issues are much easier to navigate with the help of professional legal advice, and while getting a lawyer does cost money, it can save even more money–not to mention angst and stress–down the line. Every person?s situation is different, of course, but here are five reasons you might just need legal help:
You?re Getting a Divorce
It may seem like everything is going well, and perhaps it will! But divorce is common and commonly messy; and the divorce lawyer might not just affect you and your spouse. About 30% of divorces involve children under 18, and over a million of our kids are involved in a divorce every year. A divorce attorney will be sensitive to this issue and can help you navigate the waters in a way that?s best for everyone.
You Had a Slip and Fall
Or maybe it was some other kind of injury, but if you?ve had a personal injury of some kind, especially if it?s costing you a lot in medical bills, it might be wise to talk to a lawyer. You might not know what the next step is, and if you?ve had a slip and fall, it?s easy to let emotions get in the way of clear thinking. An emotionally detached attorney can help you unravel the legalities quickly and easily.
You Don?t Have a Living Will
Most American seniors, 72%, do but if you don?t have one it?s wise to consider getting a lawyer to help you draw one up. A living will simply communicates your medical preferences should you be incapacitated by disease or accident and unable to communicate. In that case, your family will find it reassuring to make decisions about life support issues with a legal description of your precise wishes.
You?ve Been Accused of Something You Didn?t Do
It happens. Estimates are that about 10,000 people annually are accused of serious crimes wrongfully. Sometimes this happens because of a misunderstanding, poor police work, or false accusations by vindictive people. In this case, you shouldn?t hesitate to get a defense attorney on your side. The other side is invested in proving you guilty; if you know you?re innocent, don?t assume the investigation will prove that. Mitigate your risk by hiring an attorney.
There are other good reasons to consider getting legal help, but whether you?re facing divorce, had a slip and fall, were in a car accident, need a living will, or are facing another civil or criminal issue, don?t wait too long to get help. The faster you get help, the more damage you can likely avoid.
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