Lawyers can do a lot for cases, whether they are civil or criminal. Attorneys have the specialized knowledge to handle filings, deadlines, motions, witnesses, investigations, and much more. The complexity of civil and criminal systems can confuse and swallow up laypeople quickly. Because of financial or other reasons, though, many people try to handle cases themselves. When they struggle or even lose their case, they may ask if it is too late to get a lawyer. The good news: It rarely is.
6 Reasons It’s Rarely Too Late to Get an Attorney
If the statute of limitations in civil cases such as personal injury has passed, it may technically be too late to get an attorney. You should still consult one, though.
1. It Gives You Peace of Mind
No one wants to spend the rest of their lives wondering, “What if I had talked to a lawyer after all?” Even if the statute of limitations in your case has passed and you are 100 percent sure nothing can be done about the issue, you should still consult an attorney.
It gives you peace of mind to know you did what you could. That loose end is tied up, and you can move on. Plus, there are situations with loopholes that give people leeway with the statute of limitations, whether civil or criminal.
2. You May Want To Appeal
Some people handle cases themselves and lose. Rather than give up, they seek an attorney to see about the viability of appeals. There could be many fruitful avenues to pursue. For example, a criminal appeals attorney Georgia may be able to find grounds for appeal.
3. Catching Up Is Often Possible
A case might not be exactly as strong as it would have been with an attorney involved in the first place (although it could be, depending on the situation). Regardless, catching up in many situations is easier than some people think. It may require extra speed and more hands on deck, but that is doable.
Attorneys often need medical records, police reports, witness statements, and other types of documentation to get up to speed on a case. If you have not been gathering that information all along, much of it is electronic and should not be too difficult to find. It’s worth spending the time going through your office or kitchen to find the records that you can. Your attorney can likely get the rest.
If you are on the fence about the merits of your case or whether to get an attorney, many lawyers offer free consultations. Even if you do not get a consultation, it helps to act from the beginning like you’re going to pursue a case. For instance, that means seeking medical attention after a car accident as soon as possible to start a paperwork trail that can clearly connect any injuries to the car accident.
4. You Could Still Get Compensation
You might still be able to get compensation even if you think the chances are low or it’s simply not possible. Suppose you got badly injured in a car accident and the statute of limitations has passed. You see no way to resolve the case, but perhaps the company employing the driver who injured you wants to avoid bad press. The employer might be willing to work with your lawyer. That is just one example of what could be possible.
5. Consultations Typically Are Free
With free consultations, you have nothing to lose. In exchange, you gain peace of mind and possibly much more. There’s no need to fork over money you do not have. Many lawyers discuss your case with you for free.
To maximize your time, gather as much paperwork as you can in advance of consultations. Type a narrative of the case and anything you think is pertinent. Include lists of who is involved, why, and how, if you can. Doing this work in advance lets you use that free consultation time to the best of your ability.
6. You Can Get Multiple Opinions
Maybe you did not get a lawyer earlier because one told you that you did not have a case. Since then, though, you have found out a few things that made you wonder. Go ahead and talk to other lawyers. Explain what the other lawyer said and why you disagree now.
Even if you have not talked with a lawyer previously, you should talk to at least three to get a variety of opinions about your case and its viability. Talking to just one lawyer may not get you the peace of mind you seek.
The presence and quality of a lawyer can make and break cases. If you haven’t had a lawyer up until now, go talk with a few. Chances are that a lawyer can still do something for your case. If a lawyer truly cannot, you have that closure and can work on moving on as much as possible.