Top 5 Benefits to Consider Before Hiring a Lawyer
There may be many times in your life when you consider hiring a lawyer but there are certain events that occur that necessitate legal advice. Here are some tips to help you decide when you need an attorney.
- When you begin to feel overwhelmed and no longer in control of the situation
- When you are uncertain of the next steps to take
- When your inexperience and decisions could lead to personal penalties such as the loss of money or time in prison
- When you or someone else has suffered significant bodily injury
- When there are complicated or contentious asset situations like those in a divorce or estate settlement
- When you need to negotiate or sign a complex contract
Once you decide to hire an attorney your work is only just begun. Law firms are very competitive and go to great lengths to secure your business. They bombard you with marketing information that makes it difficult to know which firm will serve you best. For that reason, it is important that you research carefully to find a lawyer or group of lawyers that offer the benefits you need.
The law is complicated so experience in your type of case is critical. Your lawyer should be an expert in filing your specific court papers and documents, be able to argue against other attorneys and challenge evidence when necessary, understand a plea bargain and be able to reach a fair settlement. If your case is complex and involves more than one discipline, your lawyer must be willing to bring in area experts.
The firm you choose should offer free initial consultations. You cannot always know if you have a legal claim and you should not need to spend large sums of money to determine whether or not to take legal action. If you have a physical injury, you should also receive a free evaluation of your condition to help determine the extent of your damage and a future course of treatment. These initial services can help you determine your chances for success before you spend money and time on a meaningless claim.
No Win – No Fee
This benefit is especially important in compensation cases where you are seeking damages against another party. This arrangement guarantees that you pay no up-front fees nor any legal costs incurred during the proceedings unless you win your case. Most compensation lawyers provide this benefit as an incentive for clients to hire them. An example of this type of agreement is the Law Advice no-win no-fee services contract under which the law firm is responsible for paying all professional fees and report charges if the case is lost. Since law firms are not in the business of losing money, those that operate under no win – no fee are very selective when accepting cases and they take only those with a high percentage of success.
Use of Technology
One benefit that cannot be overlooked is communication. You need to be able to speak with your attorney often and to get answers to your questions in a timely manner. Any law firm that you consider should recognize your needs and offer online services as a way to provide updates on your case. You can meet via video conferencing rather than travelling to an office and use a website chat to stay informed. There should also be a password-protected portal that allows you to review and sign forms and store case-related documents.
This may be the most important benefit on the list. You should always be treated respectfully and your lawyer should provide you with personal service rather than shuffle you from one associate to another. Your working relationship with your lawyer should be strong enough to allow you to consider all of his/her suggestions while knowing that he/she is dedicated to helping you achieve your goal. Your lawyer needs to be your advocate and not someone who will settle your case simply to earn money for the firm. You should also be guaranteed the highest level of confidentiality and be given a written copy of that policy before you sign a contract.