Five Times You May Need to Hire a Lawyer

April 15, 2010

Hiring a lawyer is not something most people consider, or even need. But there may come a time in our lives that we need to hire an attorney to help us through the complicated procedures and paper trails that the legal system features.

Here are just five examples of when you might need to hire a lawyer. These aren’t the only times, but you’ll probably be surprised at some of the entries:

1) When You Sign Contracts

If you enter into a contract with someone else, it may be a good idea to at least have a lawyer review the document. Let’s say you hire someone to put a new roof on your house. You’ll want a contract to assure you get the work you pay for. That way, if something goes wrong, or there are differences between what you wanted done and the work the contractor completed, you’ll be able to insist the work you wanted is completed. A lawyer can make sure your contract is complete and protects you.

2) If You Care For Elderly Parents

If you have an elderly parent you care for, you may need documents to show your rights as their caregiver. Whether it’s agreeing to medical treatment or handling legal matters like the sale of property or settlement of taxes, you will often need to show you have legal rights to handle those issues for your mom or dad. If your parent suffers from a mentally debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s, you may need a court to recognize they are mentally incompetent. A lawyer can help you navigate those issues and ensure you and your parents are taken care of.

3) When You Lose Money

If you have any kind of business transaction where you lost money or the transaction didn’t turn out the way it should, there’s a chance you could recuperate some or all of what you lost. If you were treated unfairly or felt like you were, “taken to the cleaners,” it might not be a bad idea to consult a lawyer to see if there is a legal solution to help you.

4) When You Need A Last Will And Testament

Most people do turn to a lawyer to help them write a will. While some people think writing down your wishes on a piece of paper and signing it is enough, different states have different laws governing a person’s final wishes. And you may change your mind or forget to include someone you want to include later. A court can’t write your will for you once you’re gone, so it’s always best to make sure a lawyer is on hand to ensure the document clearly expresses your wishes for when you are.

5) If You Are Hurt In An Accident Or During Medical Treatment

If you are injured in an accident, it might be because of someone else’s negligence. You might also have a complication after a surgery or other medical treatment that could be the result of a medical mistake. It’s hard to know whether or not something could have prevented you from having to go through the emotional and mental — not to mention physical — stress when these events happen. While not every injury is someone else’s fault, you want to be sure. This is a good time to talk to a lawyer to find out what your rights are, determine what kind of loss you have suffered, and what you can do about it.

A final point of consideration is that most lawyers handle specific types of cases. Make sure you don’t just ask for a good lawyer, but one that practices the type of law you need. If you’ve been arrested, you need a criminal lawyer. If you feel you’ve been fired unfairly, you may need a civil rights attorney. When in doubt, just ask the attorney of your choice. If they don’t handle the type of law you need, they likely know someone they can refer you to.

What other situations have you been in where you needed a lawyer? The five examples above are just a few of the situations. Help your fellow readers by leaving a comment to let them know when calling a lawyer is the right move.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Next post: