Can You Save Money By Not Hiring A Lawyer For Legal Proceedings?
March 22, 2022
Throughout the course of your life, you may enter various situations when legal proceedings are necessary. For example, let’s say you have had a car crash and want to sue the person responsible for it. In this case, you will need to take legal action against them, possibly taking them to court. Or, what if you have been arrested for committing a crime? Whether you have wrongly or rightly been arrested, you will need to go through legal proceedings to determine the outcome of the case.
You can conjure up many other scenarios that result in legal battles, and there’s one thing that all of these have in common. More often than not, you will hire a lawyer to help you with the legal issues.
However, there is one big problem that lawyers bring to the table: money. They can be extremely expensive to hire, meaning you might receive a good outcome, but you have to part with a lot of money. It begs the question, can you save money by not hiring a lawyer at all? Technically, you don’t need to hire a lawyer whenever you go to court. As such, it is perfectly possible that you could get the desired outcome without needing to pay anyone for assistance.
But, is this really a good idea? Will it actually save you any money? To answer this, let’s look at some of the benefits of hiring a lawyer when you go through legal proceedings:
Most lawyers only charge for positive outcomes
A lot of lawyers will operate on a no-win-no-fee basis. What this means is that they won’t charge you any fees if you don’t win your case. Therefore, you can think of hiring a lawyer as an investment of sorts. You spend money hiring them, but only if you win your case, which tends to mean you gain money as a result. Plus, in a lot of instances, the fees are taken from the compensation you’ve gained. So, you might win a legal battle and get compensation, but 25% of that goes to the lawyer. As such, you’re still making a profit of sorts from hiring them!
Nevertheless, no-win-no-fee lawyers tend to only exist in legal cases when you are looking to gain compensation. For example, a personal injury claim. In other areas of the law, you are unlikely to find attorneys that offer deals like this. Still, that doesn’t mean that you should never hire a lawyer. In the case of many lawsuits, you could save and get more money by hiring someone on a no-win-no-fee basis.
The cost can often outweigh the negatives
There are plenty of cases when you might hire a lawyer. Let’s say you have been arrested, is it wise to defend yourself without legal representation? You will weigh up the pros and cons, and the main negative is that the lawyer can cost a lot of money. This could be money that you don’t have, meaning you may need to borrow it from elsewhere. As a result, it’s easy to look at this and think that hiring a lawyer isn’t a good idea as you can save money by representing yourself.
But, think about the positives against the negatives. Yes, it costs a lot to hire a lawyer, but they can help you avoid prosecution. Your lawyer might be the difference between you going to prison and walking away a free human being. So, you have to view the costs from a different perspective. Yes, it’s a lot of money, but would you rather save money and go to prison? Think about what they could mean for your family and your life. Even if you only spend a few months in prison, it means you lose your job and have a permanent stain on your record. It can be a lot harder for you to get another job because people see that you have a criminal record. The decision to represent yourself might mean you lose your case and end up suffering for the rest of your life.
By contrast, taking out a loan to pay for a lawyer doesn’t seem so bad. It will cost money, but it can keep your record clean, let you keep your job, and avoid putting your family through hell.
Lawyers can sometimes help you save money
Believe it or not, but a lawyer can actually help you save money. This refers to cases when you are possibly at fault for something. Remember how we talked about the idea of suing someone after a car accident? Well, what if you are the guilty party? Someone else has decided to sue you, and you could be forced to pay a lot of money.
Without a lawyer, your defense will be extremely thin. You don’t really know anything about the law and how to negotiate a deal with the prosecution. But, a lawyer does. While they might not be able to help you win a case, they can reduce the damages. Investing in their help could help you reduce the amount of compensation you have to pay to another party. Genuinely, this could be life-changing as you might avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars and only have to pay a few hundred.
When should you hire a lawyer?
The above points all demonstrate that legal representation matters in the majority of cases. A lawyer is experienced and understands the law a lot better than you. This puts them in a positon to help you get the best possible outcome from a case. Whether this means gaining as much compensation as possible or reducing the charges against you – it doesn’t matter, it proves that hiring a lawyer is a good investment. Conversely, it’s incredibly rare that not hiring one will actually save money.
So, when should you look to hire a lawyer?
As mentioned before, any case when you want to pursue justice is a good time to hire a lawyer. Personal injury claims, employment lawsuits; anything where you have something to gain. Here, you do often get the no-win-no-fee lawyers, so that’s even better from a financial perspective.
Alongside this, you should always hire a lawyer when you are the defendant. If you have been arrested or charges are placed against you, you need legal representation. It’s a good idea to get a lawyer on your team as early as possible, preferably before the arraignment. If you’re wondering what is an arraignment, it’s basically a 10-minute process when the local judge reads the charges and gets you to plead guilty or not guilty. Having a lawyer during this process will ensure that you don’t do anything that can harm your case further down the line.
Ultimately, hiring a lawyer is financially beneficial when you are the prosecutor or the defendant. When you’re on the attack, a lawyer helps you gain as much as possible by way of compensation. If you’re on the defense, they can help you reduce the charges against you, meaning you might pay a smaller fine or avoid devastating outcomes – like time in prison.
Are there times when you can save money without a lawyer?
In truth, there are really only two times when this might be possible. The first is very rare, and it’s when you are a lawyer yourself. If you have been trained in the art of law, you might be able to represent yourself. In which case, you can save money by not hiring a lawyer.
The second instance is way more common. When a couple gets divorced, they tend to both hire attorneys. However, you can actually get the entire process done without hiring lawyers. If the pair of you want to split up on good terms, you can often agree to the divorce conditions without needing to go back and forth between lawyers. This speeds up the entire divorce process and saves you both a lot of money in legal fees.
In conclusion, you shouldn’t avoid hiring a lawyer if you think it will help you save money. Yes, legal fees can be extortionate – and it sometimes feels like you’re being bled dry. But, the fees are a necessary evil in the grand scheme of things. No matter how many legal dramas you’ve watched, you don’t have a grasp of the legal system. You have no idea how to conduct yourself in court, and the chances of you beating an actual lawyer on the opposite team are extremely slim. You might save money by not hiring a lawyer, but you suffer the consequences by seeing a much worse outcome than expected.
After all, the outcome is the most important part of any legal proceeding. Therefore, you have to do everything you can to ensure you win – or to minimize the damages when you’re being prosecuted. Consequently, the only solution is to hire a lawyer and pay for their expertise and knowledge. This will help you get a positive outcome that proves this was a very worthwhile investment in the grand scheme of things.