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General legal matters

Live Confidently™ with everyday legal help from Rocket Lawyer.

Darren K.
Rocket Lawyer member since 2012

General legal matters FAQs

  • When do I need a lawyer?

    Generally, you may need a lawyer if a lot is at risk. For example, you could go to jail, lose an expensive divorce settlement, or are being sued. If you have a lot to lose, you may not want to try handling the situation without legal counsel.

    Common reasons to hire a lawyer:

    • DUI (OWI) or another serious offense
    • Complicated divorce
    • Custody battles
    • Adoption
    • Will challenge
    • Injury case
    • Complex estate planning
    • Business sale, merger or acquisition
    • Discrimination or employment cases
    • Purchasing real estate
  • How much do lawyers charge?

    The short answer is quite a bit. Lawyer fees start at about $250 per hour and go up from there. Most will also require a retainer or "down payment" for services in advance. That's why it makes sense to use your Rocket Lawyer membership for minor legal issues such as making a Will, selling a car, hiring a nanny, or making lease agreements. We also offer up to 40 percent off legal services if you hire one of our on-call attorneys. They can help you with legal challenges such as starting a business or estate planning.

    When you get a bill from your lawyer, you may be wondering how they configure what they are going to charge you. How much a lawyer charges you may be influenced by:

    • Hourly rate (including document preparation time, phone calls, court time, and more)
    • Expertise
    • Overhead costs
    • Cost of paralegals, investigators, and others
    • Travel expenses
    • Business services (printing and copying)
    • Court and filing fees
  • How do I know if I have a case?

    In most situations, you need to be able to PROVE damage to "have a case." You also need to be able to prove WHO caused the damage. Another issue may be if any kind of compensation or reward might be offered if you win your case. You'll also want to consider if the award is enough to cover the cost of winning it.

    If it is a personal injury case, often lawyers will evaluate your case for free. If they believe the case can be won, they may choose to take part of the award as their payment. If the case is a discrimination or harassment case, you may be able to find community legal services that may be able to help you with your case. Again, regardless of the type of case, your lawyer will tell you if the case is worth pursuing or not.

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