When to Call a Lawyer – A Comprehensive Guide


Lawyers often get a bad rap, but when life presents complex legal challenges, they become indispensable allies. While you can’t predict every situation that may require legal assistance, this checklist, compiled with insights from legal professionals, serves as a guide for knowing when to call a lawyer:

1. Arrest or Criminal Charges:
– If you are arrested or charged with a crime or become the subject of a government investigation.

2. Search Warrant:
– If you are served with a search warrant.

3. Legal Documents Received:
– If you receive any document directing you to respond or appear in court, such as a subpoena, summons, complaint, or arbitration demand.

4. Automobile Accident:
– In the event of an automobile accident resulting in injury to persons or property.

5. Personal Injury or Property Damage:
– If you are personally injured or your property is damaged by someone else.

6. Insurance Dispute:
– If you have a dispute with an insurance company over the payment of a claim.

7. Financial Loss Dispute:
– If you are treated unfairly by an individual or business leading to financial loss.

8. Family Law Issues:
– When contemplating divorce, adoption, or facing problems with child support or visitation.

9. Domestic Violence or Child Abuse:
– If you are a victim of domestic violence or your child has been abused.

10. Special Needs Education:
– If your special needs child is not receiving proper or adequate educational services from your public school.

11. Concern for Vulnerable Individuals:
– If you are concerned about an alcoholic, drug-addicted, mentally ill, aged, or disabled family member, relation, or friend who needs governmental services.

12. Undue Influence Concerns:
– If you believe someone is asserting or has asserted undue influence over the decisions or financial affairs of a family member or relative.

13. Estate Planning:
– When you want to have a will, trust, or estate plan drawn up or when a relative dies, leaving you an inheritance.

14. Bankruptcy Consideration:
– If you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy.

15. Employment Issues:
– If you have been terminated or demoted for reporting a violation of the law.

16. Workplace Discrimination:
– If you believe you are being discriminated against in the workplace based on various factors.

17. Hostile Working Environment:
– If you are subjected to a hostile working environment due to the conduct of others in the workplace.

18. Real Estate Problems:
– If you have a problem involving real estate, such as with a landlord or tenant, boundary dispute, or zoning violation.

19. Business Transactions:
– When buying or selling a business or real estate, especially in areas subject to governmental regulation.

20. Challenge Government Actions:
– If you want to challenge the actions of a government official.

21. Rights Violation:
– If you believe your rights have been violated by an individual or government agency.

22. Benefits or Services Denial:
– If you are not receiving benefits or services for which you have applied or believe you are entitled to receive from the government.

23. Ineffective Law Enforcement:
– If a governmental agency is not effectively enforcing laws impacting you or your property.

24. Intellectual Property Needs:
– If you want to obtain a patent or copyright.

25. Understanding Legal Rights:
– If you want to know your legal rights, duties, and obligations in a specific situation.

26. Professional Recommendation:
– If advised to do so by another professional, such as an accountant, tax, or financial adviser.

Knowing when to call a lawyer empowers you to navigate legal complexities effectively, ensuring your rights and interests are protected in various situations.

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