Fortunately, most of us will never experience any major legal troubles, but on the occasions when we do, it can be a very worrying time. Legal proceedings can weigh extremely heavily and cause a lot of mental and emotional stress.
Even if you are only facing something minor like a personal injury case or a dispute with a neighbor, it can be very reassuring to get advice from someone who is used to dealing with the law. You can opt to represent yourself but if you’re under a serious charge, such as criminal cases, it would be wise to contact a criminal attorney instead. Specialist lawyers can offer so many benefits, from organizing your case to ensuring you get the best possible outcome.
Many people are wary about hiring a lawyer because they believe that lawyers are really expensive and that the benefits will not outweigh the costs. In reality, a good lawyer doesn’t need to cost a fortune and will be an excellent ally in any legal troubles you may find yourself involved in.
1. To Protect You From the Other Party’s Lawyers
The first reason why it is always good to have a lawyer on call is that if you get in legal trouble, there is no doubt that the other party will seek legal representation.
For example, if you have been involved in a personal injury case, you may have big medical bills or a long stretch of time when you are unable to work, and so you will need to file a compensation claim against the responsible party. In this case, it is always worth hiring a lawyer because what is likely to follow is a series of battles with the other side’s legal team.
When you have injuries resulting from a car accident, your lawyer will contact both your insurance company and that of the responsible party to agree with what is an acceptable settlement. The lawyers representing the other party’s interest will try every trick to avoid paying you the compensation which you deserve.
But an experienced lawyer on your side will be able to combat their tactics, protect your rights, and ensure that you get the money you are entitled to.
It is almost impossible for people without legal experience and knowledge to effectively represent themselves, so it is always worth seeking professional legal help.
2. To Advise You on the Law
The second reason a lawyer is always useful is that they can give you sound advice based on their years of practice. Many people think that they understand how the law works from watching legal TV shows, but the reality and complexity of the law are far different from what we see on TV.
You may have sustained an injury at work, for example, and your employer is putting pressure on you not to make a claim. They may be threatening you with dismissal or intimidating you in some other way. It is easy to become overwhelmed in this kind of situation, but a lawyer will be able to advise you about your rights, so you don’t feel scared or isolated.
There are many situations in which you have only a limited amount of time to make a claim, present evidence, or for a conviction to take place. This is called a statute of limitations, and they vary from circumstance to circumstance and state to state.
In a personal injury case, for example, your medical records following your checkup after the accident is very important evidence, but in many jurisdictions, you only have a limited amount of time to get the medical check and present the records. Your lawyer will know all of the relevant statutes of limitations that apply to your case and so they will be able to advise you accordingly.
3. To Gather Evidence
One of the biggest problems which people experience when they try to represent themselves is that because they don’t have any experience, their case loses momentum.
For example, if you were the victim of an assault outside a bar, there will usually be many witnesses who can attest to what happened. Trying to get these people to testify can be very difficult but they are far more likely to agree if they are contacted by a lawyer.
The added gravitas that comes with having a lawyer speak to potential witnesses can be invaluable in ensuring that your case is ultimately a success.
The same is true for things like CCTV evidence. No business wants to admit that a crime has happened on their premises or has been committed by their employees, and so CCTV footage quickly “disappears”. Business owners are far less likely to destroy evidence if they have a lawyer pressuring them for it as they can be in further legal jeopardy for trying to destroy evidence.
When it comes to building a successful case, as much evidence as possible needs to be gathered in as short a time as possible, and your lawyer will be worth their weight in gold for this.
4. To Present Your Case in Court
Court proceedings are very confusing for most people as there are mountains of paperwork that need to be filed and replied to and strict protocols for how a case is presented. Top lawyers have years of experience presenting cases in court and will know exactly what needs to be done at every stage of the proceedings to ensure that you have the best possible result.
Your lawyer may know a particular judge or other people who work in court, so they will know the best way to argue your side and who to talk to to get a slight edge. They will rehearse everything with you that is likely to happen during the proceedings so that you are fully prepared and aren’t caught off guard by any surprises.
Most people will never find themselves involved in a serious legal matter, but there are still various minor disputes which can result in the need for a lawyer. Maybe you have been involved in a personal injury incident, a car crash, or an argument with your neighbor about parking spaces. Whatever the situation, speak to as many lawyers as possible and choose the one you feel comfortable with and will give you the best chance of success.