Situations in Which You Should Contact a Lawyer

When something goes wrong, your first thought may not be, “I need to call an attorney.” However, talking to a lawyer could save you time and money. In some situations, it’s clear that you should hire an attorney, such as if you are arrested or in a major car accident. Here are cases when you should call an attorney immediately.

You’re Injured in a Car Accident

Car accidents can be devastating. You may be dealing with medical treatment and physical therapy, contacting employers about time off from work and getting your vehicle repaired. All of these tasks can take up much of your time and energy. The most important thing to do in a car accident is to call the police. It is crucial to exchange information with the other vehicle or drivers involved in the incident, even if the crash was small since you need a police report to make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit for reimbursement by the personal injury law. It includes name, address, phone number and insurance information. Getting into arguments or discussing the collision with other people at the scene is also not advised.

You’re Declaring Bankruptcy

You may get your finances in order by declaring bankruptcy. It can be difficult to go through the bankruptcy procedure alone, though, as a bankruptcy filing contains legal issues. Most experts advise hiring a bankruptcy lawyer to handle your case. Many hire bankruptcy attorneys to save themselves the work of understanding and applying bankruptcy law. Most people consider the price fair compared to the money saved by “discharging” or wiping debt. Consider hiring a lawyer whenever you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or if your Chapter 7 case involves substantial assets. Sometimes, doing it alone costs more money than hiring an attorney.

You’re Accused of a Crime

Falsely accused of a crime can significantly negatively affect your reputation and life. Contacting a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible is vital for building your case. There are several reasons why someone might falsely accuse you of a crime. These include:

Mistaken identity: This can happen in a police lineup where an accuser is confused about the culprit’s identity. 

Misrecollection: Your accuser may need to remember important details about the crime, such as the time of day or how you were dressed. 

Malicious: Some people have evil intentions when they make false accusations, such as gaining an advantage in a child custody case or ruining your reputation.

If you have been falsely accused of a crime, don’t discuss the matter with anyone except your attorney. Anything you say could be used against you in court.

You’re Getting Divorced

Hiring an attorney before you initiate divorce proceedings might be wise, depending on your situation. During the process, it’s important to clearly understand what you and your spouse own (including any financial accounts) and what you owe (including debts) to negotiate an equitable settlement. You’ll want to bring bank and credit card statements, tax returns, marriage certificates, and any other documents related to the divorce proceeding. And it might help to start with a legal separation which can be a great way to get out of an unhealthy relationship without having your kids witness the dysfunction that can come with a divorce. It can also help you save money for your future life with someone new.

You’re Getting Married

While many couples who get married do not hire attorneys, there are times when a family law attorney is necessary. For example, if you and your partner have assets or debts you want to protect, it’s important to consult an attorney about a prenuptial agreement. An attorney can also explain how marriage changes your legal rights to property, assets and inheritance. They can also help you discuss budgets, goals and joint bank accounts to prevent surprises. An attorney can also advise you on spousal obligations in your state, including child custody, support and maintenance.

You’ve Been Arrested

If you’ve been arrested, calling an attorney right away is important. Your decisions and actions at the beginning of your case could majorly impact how it moves forward. If the police want to search your home, they must show you the warrant or notify you of its authority and purpose before entering and beginning a search. They must also tell you of your rights, known as Miranda rights. When your loved one is in jail awaiting their arraignment, you can contact their lawyer to ask that they be released without bail or on their recognizance. They can also build their case and negotiate with the DA to drop charges or reduce bail.