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3 Common Reasons to Hire an Attorney

There are many reasons that you may need to hire an attorney, but you may be surprised to learn that they do not all involve a crime.

An Attorney can help you through the more difficult issues in life, such as getting compensation for a personal injury, safeguarding your wealth and assets, and obtaining legal guardianship.

The three most common reasons to hire an attorney are civil issues, estate planning, and family issues. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. Civil Matters

Civil matters involve lawsuits that redress a private wrong, such as encroachment, breach of contract, negligence, or anything that causes harm or injury to an individual or private party. Two of the most common civil lawsuits are personal injury and medical malpractice.

Personal Injury

When an injury or death is caused by negligence on the part of another person, personal injury attorneys help the victims claim damages by making sure that they receive a settlement, such as medical bills, replacement of a vehicle or other damaged property, and compensation for lost wages or incapacitation.

Even though the personal injury may not have been intentional, the injured party has a right to seek recompense. It’s important to note, however, that a personal injury attorney is not the same as a family or criminal attorney because there is no family-related issues or crime committed.

The person who is at fault for the personal injury is not charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Because personal injuries are civil matters, they are referred to as torts.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice attorneys form another branch of civil law. Medical malpractice attorneys help victims who have been injured by accidents, negligence, or mistakes on the part of the physicians treating them.

In medical malpractice cases, a causal link between the injury and harm to the patient needs to be proven and measurable. Medical malpractice attorneys are familiar with the numerous, complicated laws and are there to help the victim navigate them.

2. Estate Planning

Another of the most common reasons why people hire attorneys is for estate planning. Estate planning involves making sure that your assets and loved ones are protected for the future. As you age and accumulate assets and wealth during your lifetime, it’s prudent to have a solid plan in place to safeguard them if you pass away.

If you pass away without a plan that meets the legal requirements of your state, your assets and wealth will pass through a default state process of intestacy – which means that your belongings may end up being inherited by people you didn’t intend them to.

Making sure that you’ve gone through an estate planning process will ensure that your wealth and assets are inherited by the people you want them to go to. Upon your passing, your wealth will be transferred to individuals you have specified efficiently and privately, and the people involved won’t need to involve the courts and other family members.

Effective estate planning is a way to provide for disabled family members, elderly parents, and children from previous marriages. Wills, trusts, and family-limited partnerships can also be used to eliminate estate taxes while still meeting the deceased needs and posterity.

3. Family Issues

When it comes to family law issues, the most common reason people hire an attorney is when they go through a divorce.

Sometimes, there is a need for the original divorce decree to be modified or adjusted after the divorce has already taken place. These modifications could include child custody, visitation rights, the collection of child or spousal support, or division of property.

Divorce is only one branch of family law. The second most common reason to hire an attorney pertains to obtaining legal guardianship.

Legal Guardianship

Family law attorneys handle cases pertaining to paternity and guardianship.

Guardianship applies if, for example, you are caring for someone else’s child and you did not go through an agency that places foster children.

When the child’s parents are unwilling or unable to provide care for the child, you need to be able to make decisions when the parents should not or cannot. Establishing legal guardianship is a way for you to do this.

Legal guardianship establishes that the welfare of the child is your responsibility; however, it does not guarantee that the child’s parents can’t reassert their guardianship at any time.

Guardianship also applies when a person is incapacitated by an injury or disability. The guardianship’s purpose is to appoint an adult to make decisions for someone unable to make them on their own. The guardian acts on someone else’s behalf.

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