Often, Americans need to hire lawyers who can explain various legal phrases and concepts to them, and help them build a case during litigation or even court. Not all legal cases actually end up in court, but all the same, Americans are urged to research and understand some basic legal phrases for context and be aware of their options when trouble comes up. And once a lawyer is hired, such as an adoption lawyer or the best tax attorney around, that attorney can elaborate on those legal phrases and make their client fully aware of their options. In what situations might a person want to know these legal phrases and concepts, though? Events such as divorce, drunk driving, getting hurt on the job, drug possession charges, and even tax levies and charges of white collar crime all call for such aid.
Marriage is one of the oldest and most universal institutions in the entire world, but today, the divorce rate is quite high. Estimates say that the divorce rate in the United States is around 40-45%, and there are many reasons why Americans are seeking to legally end their marriages. Domestic violence, drug abuse, infidelity, and radical differences in lifestyles and spending habits can prompt a divorce, among other reasons. Bear in mind that simple and low-intensity divorces can be mediated, and lawyers might not even be needed. But for a messier and high-stakes divorce, hiring divorce attorneys is a good idea. A spouse can reach out to local divorce law firms and find a lawyer they like, and file the divorce papers soon after. The other spouse may end up hiring their own legal representatives, and both spouses will battle over the divorce’s terms through their attorneys.
Anything might happen during and after the divorce, from selling off wedding rings for quick cash all the way to fighting over child custody. If children under the age of 18 are in the divorcing household, child custody lawyers can be hired by both spouses to settle who gets custody of those children. While no particular outcome can be guaranteed here, a parent might have better odds of winning custody if they have a stable income, a healthy come life, and no abusive behavior traits or similar personality problems. If the child is aged 12 or over, then he or she may speak privately with the judge about their living preferences during the divorce. Also, a child custody advisor can be hired by either parent, and this neutral party will evaluate how prepared a parent is to have custody of their child. The parent can provide paperwork, such as the child’s medical and academic records, and demonstrate a warm and nurturing environment in the home.
Americans often suffer from serious injuries, and they are going to want compensation for that, especially if their injuries reduce their mobility or prevent them from performing paying work in the future. Such injuries can greatly alter the victim’s financial life as well as their health, so they can hire personal injury attorneys who may review their case and advance the client’s cause during litigation or even court (if it comes to that). Statistics say that on average, a personal injury case will result in a payout of $60,000 or so. Some cases might result in even more compensation.
For example, a construction worker may end up getting badly hurt on the job; after all, construction sites are packed with hazards, and even when the crews take safety precautions, accidents can still happen. A worker might inhale silicate particles or noxious fumes, for example, or they may get an arm or leg trapped in a machine or crushed under something heavy. Workers might also collapse from heat exhaustion, or slip and fall from a great height, breaking bones. An injured worker can turn to their company’s construction lawyer for help, and/or reach out to local personal injury law firms and learn all about the relevant laws, clauses, and legal phrases for their case.
Employees on the job are not the only ones who need personal injury attorneys by their side. Car crash victims may also get this kind of help, and there is plenty of need for that. It is believed that 20% of all damage lawsuits across the U.S. are related to automobile accidents, and nearly three million car crashes take place across the nation every single year. This results in millions of people getting injured, and they’re going to want compensation. A car accident can break bones, cause a concussion or cracked skull, cause partial paralysis, or even result in the amputation of limbs. A victim may, as soon as they are able, hire a personal injury lawyer to represent them, and this is a good idea since a lawyer can provide an objective view of the case with a clear head (as opposed to the emotionally charged victim).
A lawyer will also know how to factor in the client’s medical bills, and they can also calculate the financial damage caused by injuries that prevent the client from performing paying work in the future. And not only can the lawyer explain all kinds of legal phrases and wording for their client, but help them overcome obstacles in court. For example, the at-fault party’s insurance company may not act in good faith, or they may try to stonewall the prosecution. In other cases, there are multiple involved parties, which may prove complex to handle unless a lawyer is present to untangle the case. This can help everyone assign blame and distribute compensation money.
When a person or company declares bankruptcy, that party is admitting that they cannot possibly pay off their debts based on their current income and expenses. There are multiple chapters, or types, of bankruptcy, and chapter 11 is a common one for small companies. Should a small company find itself unable to pay off debts to its creditors, it may declare this type of bankruptcy, and the business owner can hire a bankruptcy attorney who may explain legal phrases and terms as well as protect that company from abuse during court. In court, the debtor will undergo an audit, and the client’s attorney can help keep that company in operation and in control of its assets. If the debtor acts in good faith and does not violate the court’s terms, it may be considered DIP, or “debtor in possession,” and keep functioning as a company during court. Should the company violate the terms, such as take on unauthorized loans or commit fraud, that status may be revoked.
Now, the creditor must come up with a reorganization plan, to restructure the company (and often downsize it) to make debt repayment easier, and present this plan to the creditors. Lawyers can help with that too, and make sure the debtor is not abused or exploited during this process. Once a reorganization plan is approved by all involved, it is set into motion. This can result in all sorts of things, from downsizing the debtor to liquidating it entirely to make partial repayments to the debt. In some cases, the creditors must be content to accept a partial repayment.
Suppose a person has faced drug possession charges or a DUI charge? Should this happen, the accused may indeed hire some legal help; in this case, criminal defense lawyers, such as drug possession attorneys. Many criminal defense firms may be specialized for a particular type of crime, such as drunk driving (DUI) and possession of illegal drugs. While no particular outcome in a criminal court of law can be guaranteed here, the accused’s lawyer may do their best to have some charges dropped or changed to lesser ones, and help their client avoid the stiffest penalties. Examples of relatively light penalties may include court-mandated rehab programs or having an ignition interlock device installed in the automobile of a DUI convict.
An ignition interlock device is a compromise where the convict can continue to drive their car, but they must submit a clean breath sample to the device’s breathalyzer in order to allow their car’s ignition to work. While driving, the driver may be alerted, and they have to pull over and submit another clean breath sample to keep the vehicle running (the warning comes early enough so the driver can pull over safely). And of course, it is not acceptable for the convict to damage, tamper with, or try to remove the interlock device or the breathalyzer. The convict may, however, have a fake drink cup attached to the breathalyzer tube, to disguise it as a soft drink while in use. Some drivers may feel uncomfortable having other people see them using a breathalyzer.
What about white collar crime attorneys? “White collar crime” describes a non-violent crime that involves the misuse of money and information for illegal and personal gain, such as embezzlement, stock security fraud, and the like. Often, office employees who commit white collar crimes are stealing from their employer, and they may get caught when an audit is carried out and the perpetrator is discovered. Often, the victims of such crimes can file civil lawsuits against the perpetrator, and penalties for a conviction range greatly, from heavy fines to restitution, community service, probation, and even prison time.
Even if a person has not suffered a personal injury or been accused of a crime, they may still have a need for legal assistance if they are facing an unfair foreclosure, or if they have experienced a bank levy. Both of these scenarios involve debt, and creditors may take vicious steps to claim that debt. This may prompt the debtor to hire legal help.
But what can you do to stop foreclosure? Anyone who faces the prospect of foreclosure may look up some basic answers and try to negotiate with their creditor, such as a mortgage company. If all goes well, a lawyer may not need to be hired, and the debtor can learn about basic legal phrases for real estate and use them to negotiate with their creditor. The debtor is urged to act fast, and carefully read all mail they get from their creditor while reviewing all of their mortgage rights for reference. The debtor should also bear in mind that their creditor would rather get the owed money than the house, and try to get the loan reinstated. The debtor can also try to sell off some possessions or find a better-paying job to that effect.
What about a bank levy? Some Americans might even know what that is until it happens to them. Put simply, a bank levy is when a creditor (credit card company, bank, mortgage company, etc) directly tells the debtor’s bank to extract some funds and hand them over to help repay that outstanding debt. In short, the creditor takes money from the debtor’s pocket without their permission, and this can be devastating. The debtor might end up losing the money they need for rent, groceries, medicine, transportation, and other essentials, so they will probably try to fight back. Hiring a bank levy lawyer is a good idea, but the debtor must act fast, or they might lose their chance to undo the bank levy and protect their finances. Debtors should also look out for wage garnishment when the creditor extracts owed money from the debtor’s paychecks. Some creditors need to sue the debtor in court and win in order to prevent a levy, though.
As a brief bonus: an interested party can hire an estate lawyer to help them write a legally binding will, and do so sooner than later. Without a contractually binding will like that, a deceased person’s estate may be vulnerable to abuse, such as greedy relatives taking everything or creditors doing the same. Instead, the client can outline exactly what should happen with their money and possessions, and they can also appoint trusted adults to watch over a child’s share of the estate until that child turns 18 years old.
Debt, criminal charges, divorce, and personal injuries can be quite scary and change a person’s life, but if they have the correct legal representation by their side, they may stand a much better chance to avoid the worst-case scenarios and try to emerge with their life relatively intact. This can help protect the client’s financial life, health, happiness, family life, and even their mobility, and a lawyer can help them decipher the infamously complex language of law to create a solid and effective case during litigation or court.