Why do I need a lawyer?
You can handle your Accident case; DUI; Incorporation and Will without hiring a lawyer. But the correct question is should you handle these matters yourself. The answer is clear... NO! Protect yourself with an attorney.
We have all seen ads on TV regarding legal zoom that will incorporate you for pennies. Of course they are not lawyers. They just do what you tell them. Maybe you do not need a standard corporation but need an "S Corporation" or maybe you should have a limited liability company instead. When you hire a lawyer you can rely on his/her expertise to do what is in your best interest. It is a lot cheaper to do it right in the beginning than years later when you learn you made the wrong decision and have to hire an attorney to clean things up.
You can prepare a will without a lawyer too. A will in your handwriting is valid. However if there is anything on the paper besides your writing it is invalid. Thus if it is on the stationary of a hotel or business it is invalid.
What happens when you want to leave each of your two children $500,000 and decide to give your son your 1972 Ferrari worth $500,000 and you give your daughter $500,000 outright AND you then sell the '72 Ferrari for a '85 Ferrari. Since the specific gift to your son is no longer in existence he gets NOTHING.
With Accidents it is arguably even more important to have an attorney. Sure you can go to your family doctor and send the bill to the insurance company yourself and then try to settle the case on your own. Of course the insurance company will low ball you and you will not know how to set up the case to generate a fair settlement.
Most lawyers will not accept a case with property damage of less than $2500 so if you go to your friend and get your car fixed by a neighbor for $750 instead of the insurance company paying the $2500 estimate, it sounds good at first blush but you are not aware that the insurance company is more likely to force you to take the case to trial because juries award plaintiffs with low property damage very little or no money for their injuries...and this is even when you have been rear ended.
The average person does not know their attorney does not want the victim to talk to the insurance company adjuster or to post on their social media how they did in their golf game or tennis match that day. In other words the victim is complaining of pain but is able to play sports. In addition there is a big difference between the way different doctors prepare their medical reports and that controls the value of the case.
Many plaintiffs/victims will treat with their family doctor and not realize that when the insurance company subpoenas their medical records ALL of their prior complaints will be available for the insurance company to see. That means the prior addiction issues; abortions; psychiatric treatment and all prior injuries will be available for the defense to argue the injury is not from this case but from a prior slip and fall or auto accidents etc.
You also do not need a lawyer to handle your Drunk Driving case. You can do it alone but you will for sure screw up. You do not know what a case is worth or if you should even enter a plea to the charge and accept the DA's offer of 30 days in jail. Maybe there is a defense you had not considered. Maybe the sentence should be 10 days in jail or no jail but instead straight probation.
When you are arrested for a DUI you will not know that you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. If you do not do so within the 10 day period the pink piece of paper you received will after 30 days automatically suspend your license for 4 to 5 months. Most arrestee's will not know that you can request a STAY or freeze of the suspension until AFTER the hearing several months down the line. You will not know if and when you might get a restricted license.
When you go to court on a DUI the case may not be called and you will think they did not file the DUI and leave the courthouse relieved. The DA at some later time will file the case as a DUI with a Bench Warrant and they will not notify you that the case is in court. One day while you are driving home the cops may be behind you and run your plate or they might see you rolling through a stop sign and stop you to issue a ticket. When they see the bench warrant in the computer, they will arrest you and take you to jail where you would have to post bail. You will not like spending hours in jail.
The bottom line is DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI.........IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN HIRING ME! If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at his NEW number 760-565-0533.