Many people have a low opinion of attorneys, and for a small minority, that reputation is deserved. But most attorneys are professional and are there to help you when you need them for a variety of situations. There are many scenarios in which you might need a lawyer or could at least benefit from having one. Here are a few of them.
If you run into financial problems, having an attorney on your side to help you can produce better outcomes. For example, you don’t have to have a lawyer to file personal bankruptcy, but you are much more likely to have a positive outcome if you work with an attorney. Statistics show that people who use an attorney are successful filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation of assets, about 95% of the time. That compares with only a 60% success rate for those who represent themselves. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves reorganizing your debts, the success rate with a lawyer is about 55% vs. nearly 0 representing yourself.
Another situation in which attorneys can benefit you is if you become ill or get injured because of the actions of someone else. This could be from an unsafe environment at work or because of someone’s negligence. If you think such a thing can’t happen to you, you should think again. The statistics are sobering. There are more than 3 million occupational illnesses and injuries every year, and one in four people will become disabled by the age of 67. It’s a good bet that many of those illnesses and injuries are not the disabled person’s fault, but whoever or whatever caused them is not likely to own up and do the right thing, which is why an attorney may be necessary to ensure you are taken care of. And if you think that accidents are just accidents, in many cases, you would be wrong. For example, it’s estimated that nearly two-thirds of all fatal car crashes are caused either by drunken driving or speeding. And distracted drivers kill more than 3,000 people a year and injure nearly 425,000.
Though you may not want to be “that person” who runs to a lawyer for every little thing, it is important to consider your rights if you are injured in a crash or done wrong by someone in another way. Only by talking with an attorney can you know for sure whether you should be entitled to monetary compensation.