What kind of lawyer do I need to sue a car dealership?
A common type of consumer fraud is auto dealer fraud. Auto dealer fraud is deceptive and unlawful practices used by automobile dealers. Fraud can occur at any stage of the car buying process from advertising, to negotiating the price of the vehicle, and financing terms. Five common examples of auto dealer fraud include, but are not limited to:
- False statements about the price. After negotiating a price with your dealer, you may find that the price on the contract is higher than what was originally discussed or advertised for the vehicle. If the sales person added fees or changed the price without telling you in hopes that you would not question the price and will not honor the original agreed upon price, you can walk away from the deal and report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In this case, it is important to keep a record of the advertisement and the inflated price that was offered in the contract.
- Adding unwanted options and accessories. Some dealers will add features to the contract that you did not specifically ask for or agree to like protection packages, extended warranties, and other vehicle accessories. If the sales person offered these features for free, make sure you are not charged for them. Prior to signing the contract, make sure you read through it carefully to ensure you are not being charged for something you did not agree to.
- Bait and switch. If a sales person claims that an advertised price for a vehicle is no longer available, he or she may be practicing a bait and switch. Prior to going to the dealership and connecting with a sales person, call the dealership to confirm that the price in the advertisement is correct and bring the ad to the dealership. If the dealership will not honor the price in the ad, you may have a case for fraud.
- Hiding a lemon. In order to be considered a lemon, a car must have a substantial defect, covered by warranty, that occurs within a certain time after purchase and continues to have the defect after a reasonable number of repair attempts. Prior to purchasing a used vehicle, it is important to run a vehicle history report and have an independent mechanic inspect the vehicle. If a dealership misrepresents the vehicle’s condition or knowingly conceals that the car is a lemon or was involved in a crash, this would be a case for fraud.
- Financing fraud. A sales person may claim your credit score is too low for low-interest financing when processing your loan application. Prior to applying for a loan, you should know your credit score. Alternatively, you can get a loan from a credit union or bank instead of the dealership if you are concerned about the potential for fraud.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, you will need to hire an auto fraud lawyer. Your lawyer will know how to contact the dealer, describe the problem and make a demand on your behalf to ensure you are compensated properly. There are various damages you may able to receive including:
- Actual damages. These damages can come from the economic loss you have suffered due to the auto dealer fraud. Damages in these cases can be substantial such as reimbursement for the down payment of the vehicle.
- Statutory damages. Statutory damages may be awarded based on a state’s statutes regarding violation of consumer trade statues. These are not calculated or based on the degree of harm or damage that was done to the plaintiff.
- Attorney’s fees. In some cases, you may be able to request reimbursement for attorney fees. If you are able to receive this reimbursement, there will be little risk and consequence to you for pursuing the case.
- Large number of parties involved. If a car dealership or sales person defrauded hundreds or thousands of clients, the plaintiffs may join together and file a class action lawsuit. In this case, attorney’s fees will be split and it will be more affordable for the plaintiffs to pursue the claim.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the auto dealer for their actions with the intent of deterring them and others from committing fraud in the future. While punitive damages are not necessarily meant to compensate the plaintiff, they will still receive or some of the damages that are awarded. A judge or jury may award punitive damages to a plaintiff if the car dealership’s actions were outrageous.
When a salesperson at a car dealership lies to you, you should consider pursuing legal action. If they lied to you once, it is likely they will lie to you again or will lie to others in the future. Auto fraud attorneys will help you to rectify the situation, get out of a bad contract and recover compensation if you have been a victim of auto fraud.
What kind of lawyer do I need to sue a company?
There are many reasons why someone may want to sue a company or a large corporation. Some common situations why an individual may want to sue a company include:
- An individual was illegally terminated by the company
- An individual suffered harassment while working at the company or while visiting the company as a customer
- A company fails to pay an employee their salary
- A company infringed on an individual’s intellectual property rights or plagiarized their work
- The company injured an individual in some way or did not provide a safe working environment
- A company misled an individual about product claims or their financial situation
While there is a wide variety of situations that may lead an individual to want to sue a company, there are also many reasons why a company could be sued like:
- Personal injury
- Products liability
- Professional malpractice
- Breach of contract
- Discrimination or harassment
- Tax fraud
- False advertising
- Violation of federal laws
The process to sue a company will differ depending on the type of company, the laws in the jurisdiction or state you live in, the facts of the case, and the reason for your claim. Since there are many reasons why a company could be sued, it is important to make sure you are hiring the right lawyer in the event that you do choose to sue a company. For example, if your main claim in your lawsuit is that you were injured while working for the company because they did not provide you with a safe working environment, then you should hire a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law or worker’s compensation. If you were injured by a product made by the company, then you should hire a lawyer who specializes in product liability. If you believe your rights as an employee were violated or you experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you should hire a lawyer who specializes in employment harassment cases.
All companies can be held liable for actions that violate state, federal or local laws. This includes:
- For-profit companies
- Non-profit organizations
- Small business owners
- Federal, state and local government agencies
- Schools, hospitals, retail stores, etc.
The type of company you are suing will result in different forms of liability. For example, if a person sues a large corporation, the corporation itself and the individual owners can be sued. If a person sues an LLC, only the organization itself can be sued instead of individual owners.
If you wish to sue a company for damages, an individual should take the following necessary steps to ensure you have successful lawsuit that will hold up in court:
- Speak to a company representative. Prior to initiating a lawsuit, it may be best to speak with a company representative to try and resolve the issue. A company may wish to resolve an issue outside of court. If the company fails or refuses to fix the issue after it has been brought to their attention, you will want to consider hiring a lawyer.
- Collect evidence. If the company fails or refuses to fix the issue, begin collecting evidence that will help support your claim and make your case stronger. Evidence can include emails, reports, letters, text messages, videos, business policies, and contact information for witnesses.
- Consult a lawyer. After you have collected evidence, you will want to consult with a lawyer to start considering what claims you would like to file and what types of damages you may want to recover. This could include monetary damages for an injury or a product replacement if you are suing over a defective product.
If you are considering suing a company, you may want to act quickly because with most lawsuits, there is a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the maximum amount of time that an individual has to initiate legal proceedings for an alleged offense, whether that is civil or criminal. The statute of limitations will depend on the laws of where the plaintiff is filing the lawsuit and their claim in the lawsuit. For example, in Texas, a person who would like to file a personal injury lawsuit has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in civil court. If an individual does not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, then they will not be allowed to bring a lawsuit against that company.
If you decide to sue a company, it might be in your best interest to hire a lawyer instead of pursuing the claim on your own. A lawyer who specializes in the claims will help to determine if you have a viable claim that is worth pursuing. Additionally, the company you are suing may have a large and experienced legal team that will not be easy to fight on your own.
What kind of lawyer do I need for a will?
A will, also referred to as a “Last Will and Testament,” is a legal document to ensure your money and estate is inherited by the people you would want to benefit after your death. There are four different types of wills: simple, testamentary trust, joint and living. It is important to note that you can have more than one type of will at the same time and they can legally all be valid.
- Simple. In a simple will, you can decide who will receive your assets and also name a guardian for any minor children.
- Testamentary trust. A testamentary trust places some assets into a trust for the benefit of your beneficiaries and names a trustee to hand the trust. This is helpful if you have beneficiaries who are minors or who you do not want to inherit your assets to handle on your own. In this type of will, you can put assess in a trust and place conditions on the inheritance, which could be based on age or various other factors.
- Joint. A joint will is signed by two or more people as a separate will for each testator. Generally, a joint will is signed by spouses who would like the other spouse to inherit everything. There is a lack of flexibility with this type of will. If one of the testators passes away, the beneficiaries, executor and other provisions cannot be changed.
- Living. A living will allows you to choose what medical treatments you want to have if you become incapacitiated. Additionally, you are also able to designate someone to make decisions on your behalf. A living will can be beneficial for your loved ones as well, as they will not be tasked with the difficult decision of whether or not to withdraw life support in the event of your terminal illness.
When it is time to prepare your will, you must start cataloging assets and property that belongs to you, including bank accounts, vehicles, real estate properties, and various smaller assets like electronics and jewelry. Next, you decide which of the four types of wills from the list above will best suit your needs. The last step is to have the will finalized. This requires two people to sign and date the will and an additional two people witness the signing. You can have a legal citizen, spouse, adult child or lawyer act as witnesses.
While it is possible to create a will on your own without hiring an attorney, it is typically not recommended. Each state has regulations regarding wills, so it is best to consult with an attorney when you would like to begin the estate planning process. Wills that do not follow the specific legal requirements for your state may not hold up in court, which is why it is important to have an attorney oversee the process.
Drafting a will is a small part of the estate planning process. Estate planning is a general term used for all activities related to the planning or execution of an estate. In this context, the word “estate” refers to any assets, debts and properties belonging to a specific person at the time of their death. Estate planning is important because it helps you have a plan for the future, ensures your loved ones will adhere to your wishes after your death, and eliminates any questions regarding your estate.
An estate planning attorney, also known as a probate attorney, can help you draft your will. Their expertise will be crucial when drafting your will and they will be able to advise you regarding any potential problems that may arise due to the nature of your requests. Additionally, they can assist living family members with executing the estate after your death to ensure all instructions are followed regarding the management of assets. Lastly, an estate planning attorney will be able to assess your needs and guide you to the right legal documents that will be an important part of your estate plan. Various other legal documents that may be beneficial to you during the estate planning process may include:
- Appointment of a guardian. If you have children who are minors, it is important that you appoint a guardian to take care of them in the event that anything happens to you and you are unable to do so. You can appoint a guardian in a will or it can be a separate legal document on its own.
- Financial power of attorney. This document allows you to appoint a person to make financial decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated and cannot make those decisions on your own. Typically, the financial power of an attorney will terminate after your death. At that point, your executor will be in charge of financial decisions related to your estate. However, you can extend financial power of attorney to after your death if you wish.
- Medical power of attorney. A medial power of attorney allows you to appoint a person to make medical decisions for you on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated or are unable to do so.
What kind of lawyer do I need to start a business?
Depending on what kind of business you plan on starting, you may or may not need a lawyer. You might need a lawyer for you business if:
- You need assurance that you are starting your business correctly and following all legal regulations.
- You need help navigating forms and requirements of legal documents.
- You do not want to spend time on your own trying to figure out the legal aspects of your business.
- You need support with specific tasks like trademarking your business name, preparing forms and other legal documents, etc.
If you are starting a sole proprietorship, you may not need an attorney. A sole proprietorship is a type of business that is owned and run by one person, so there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. This type of business is not required to be registered with the state. On the other hand, if you are starting an LLC, you may want to hire a lawyer. Partnerships and LLCs must register with the state, so it might be a good idea to hire a lawyer to help prepare any necessary documents.
There are many tasks when starting a business that can be done without the help of a lawyer:
- Reserve a name for your LLC
- Apply for a website domain name
- Form your own partnership or LLC
- Apply for your business employer identification number (EIN)
- Apply for any required business licenses or permits
- Lease a commercial business space
- Interview and hire employees
- Complete necessary IRS paperwork
In the event that you do decide to hire a lawyer for your business, you will want to hire a business lawyer who is familiar with the various rules and regulations for businesses that are specific to your jurisdiction. A business lawyer will be able to answer all of your business law questions and can identify and minimize any risks you may have. Generally, it may be a good idea to create your own business contract prior to contacting a business lawyer. Then, when you first meet with your lawyer, you can have them look over the contract to ensure there are not any major legal issues. This may be the most cost-effective way to utilize legal services when you are first starting your business.
Meeting with a business lawyer is an important step to starting your business as it helps to minimize future risks that may arise. When you meet with your lawyer, there are a few questions you may want to consider asking:
- What business structure should I choose? If you do not form a formal business entity, your business will either be a sole proprietorship with one owner, or a general partnership with more than one owner. In these types of businesses, you will be liable for any debts or lawsuits that are brought upon your business. If you would like to limit this liability, you can form a business entity like a corporation, limited liability company or limited liability partnership.
- How do I choose a name for my business? You cannot choose a name for your business that another business is already using. If you would like to trademark your business name, you will want to choose a name that meets trademark protection criteria.
- How do I minimize my risks as an employer? As a business owner, there are many federal and state employment laws you must follow that cover anti-discrimination, health and safety and wage regulations. If you do not follow these laws, you may be at risk for fines, penalties and lawsuits. A lawyer can help explain all of these regulations to you to help minimize risks.
- How can I protect my intellectual property? Potentially, you may have trademarks that are unique to your business like your name, logo, labels, slogans, and packaging. You must take the necessary steps to protect all of these trademarks by registering them with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You may also have copyrights in original works of authorship with things such as photos, brochures and websites. Copyright protection is particularly important if your business is in the creative industry such as art and design, film or advertising and marketing. If you have an invention, you may want to consider applying for a patent. In this case, you will need a patent lawyer.
- What contracts do I need for my business? You will want to have written contracts that describe and protect the rights and responsibilities of you and your employees. Your business may need contracts for routine transactions and to protect confidential information.
Every business is unique and will face various risks that can be minimized by hiring a business lawyer who can help you set up your business and draft the necessary documents you need to protect yourself and your business.
What kind of lawyer do I need for a car accident?
Car accidents can be minor fender benders or severe collisions. Minor accidents can cause injuries and severe accidents may cause life threatening injuries. Regardless of the severity of your car accident, it is important to consult with an attorney to determine what the next best step would be for you. Before you determine what kind of Arlington, TX personal injury lawyer you should hire, such as one from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, you should determine whether or not hiring an attorney is necessary for your case.
Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not you would like to hire an attorney, but if there were no injuries caused by the accident, you may not need one. In the event that the accident caused an injury, it may be beneficial to at least consult with an auto accident attorney. For a serious injury that will result in thousands of dollars of medical bills, hiring an attorney may be your best option. The attorney will ensure that you are able to be compensated a fair amount of money from your insurance company. Additionally, it may be beneficial to hire an attorney if your car accident involved any of the following:
- Permanent injury
- Drunk driver
- Bicyclist or pedestrian
- 18 wheeler
- Motorcycle accident
- Defective part on the vehicle
- Road construction
- Head-on collision
- Missed work or income
- Uninsured motorist
- Not enough coverage for your damages or injuries
If your car accident resulted in injuries or any of factors from the list above and you believe that you can benefit from hiring an attorney, you should hire them as soon as possible. If you wait too long after your accident before hiring an attorney, you may be unknowingly waiving your rights or limiting your options when it comes to compensation.
When it is time to hire an attorney, you will want to hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in car accident cases. An attorney who specializes in car accident cases will have extensive knowledge of personal injury and traffic laws and will be able to determine whether it is best to defend your case or get any compensation you are entitled to. Additionally, you may want to consider hiring someone who specializes specifically in the type of injury you sustained in the accident. This could include wrongful death, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal injuries. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can assist you doing any of the following:
- Help you get the medical care you need
- File all available insurance claims
- Pursue compensations for your losses
- Locate responsible parties from the accident
- Investigate the cause of the accident
- Prove liability
- Draft a demand letter
- Negotiate a settlement
- Negotiate liens
- Litigate a case
Typically, it is important to at least consult with an attorney after your car accident. However, it may not always be in your best interest or to your benefit to hire an attorney for a few reasons:
- No one was injured. In fender benders where no injuries or even minor injuries were sustained, an attorney may not be necessary.
- You were fully at fault. If the car accident was your fault, then a car accident attorney may not be able to help you. Instead, you may need an attorney to defend your case from claims from the other party involved in the accident.
- You are not concerned about compensation. Minor accidents may not result in damage to your vehicle, so filing a claim would not be necessary. Additionally, if you sustained a minor injury that you believe is not a big deal and will heal within a couple days, then you do not need an attorney. However, it is important to consult with a doctor to make sure you are cleared of any risk to your injuries that could cause long-term complications.
- You know how to use your insurance. If you are able to file your insurance claim and utilize its coverage on your own, then an attorney may not be needed.
- Your recovery would not be worth the cost of an attorney. If you file a small claim, the cost to hire an attorney may be more than your compensation is worth.
- You have the resources to pursue the claim on your own. In the case of minor accidents with no injuries, you may have the time and resources to defend your case on your own. Typically, this involves making phone calls to your insurance company and sending them any documents they may need for your claim.
Hiring an attorney for your car accident case will ensure they will advocate for your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will act on your behalf throughout the claims process and will have your best interest in mind. Having an experienced attorney who specialized in car accident cases will be essential for obtaining a favorable outcome for you in your car accident case.
What kind of lawyer do I need to review a contract?
A contract is a written or spoken agreement that is enforceable by law. Typically, contracts are concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, but can also be created for personal reasons. If you are in need of a contract, you should consider hiring a contract attorney who can draw up and revise legal documents.
Contract drafting is the act of writing down the terms and conditions of an agreement. It may take several rounds of drafts and revisions of a contract for the contract to be finalized and for both parties to agree on it. The goal of contract drafting is to create a legally binding document that is clear, concise, fair, and beneficial for both parties
The drafting process is beneficial for contractual agreements for various reasons. It allows all parties to discuss the terms and agreements of the contract before it becomes legally binding. This helps prevent legal disputes from arising in the future. Additionally, going over the draft with all parties can ensure that everyone understands the duties and responsibilities that will be outlined in the contract.
By working with a contract attorney, you can ensure that the wording and format of your contact is done properly. The wording in your contract has to be very specific since it is legally binding and needs to be admissible in court with no room for loopholes. At the very least, you should have a contract attorney review the contract if you do not want them to draft the document for you. Additionally, a contract attorney can give you legal advice and guidance if you believe someone has broken a contract you are in or you would like to get out of a contract. Some benefits of hiring an attorney to review your contract can include:
- Preventing future breach of contract issues and other legal disputes
- Avoiding the chances of forming an illegal or voidable contract
- Acquiring a clear understanding of the duties and obligations of all parties
- Ensuring that all terms and conditions in the contract are what the parties intended
- Incorporating additional terms and conditions in the contract that a party may have left out and could be beneficial to them
- Identifying protections or rights that a party has, which can be used either as a defense in a lawsuit or to take legal actions against another breaching party
Hiring a contract attorney to review a contract is not required, but it can be beneficial for you in the long run. There are different types of contract reviews you can ask an attorney for:
- Issue specific contract review. An issue specific contract review is when an attorney will just look at a specific issue you have a question on.
- Basic contract review. A basic contract review is more in-dept than an issue specific contract review. In this type of review, the attorney will look over the whole contract at a surface level and will answer any questions you have about the agreement.
- Basic contract review plus edits. In this type of review, an attorney will complete a comprehensive review of your whole contract, provide notes for any problem areas, and edit the contract to correct any issues. This may also be known as redlining a contract.
- Contract review plus negotiation. In this review, your attorney will handle everything for you including, reviewing, editing and negotiating the contract. Having a lawyer there for negotiations can be beneficial because they will act as a neutral third party.
Generally, most contracts will follow a basic format and include standard components such as words that need to be legally defined, rights and duties of the parties, how the parties can terminate the contract, provisions, and special clauses if necessary. Regardless of the type of contract you will be drafting, all contacts must contain certain elements including:
- An offer
- Acceptance of that offer
- Identification of the parties and those parties must have the legal capacity to enter into the agreement
- The subject matter of the contract must be legal
- There must be a mutual agreement between the parties
- The parties must have a mutual understanding of their rights and duties under the contract
Special terms and conditions that contracts many include are:
- Confidentiality agreement
- Liquidated damages clause
- Force majeure clause
Drafting and reviewing a contract can be a complicated process depending on the agreement. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to hire a contract attorney for further assistance. It will make the contract drafting process easier for you and it will help to eliminate any complications or legal issues in the future.
What kind of lawyer do I need to negotiate a business contract?
Contract negotiation is the process of coming to an agreement on a set of legally binding terms. During a contract negotiation, all parties seek to come to a favorable agreement and minimize risks. The negotiation process involves examining the facts of each side and considering the interests of both parties to resolve the dispute. Generally, negotiations can involve an exchange between the parties, whether that is an exchange of physical items, services or statues. Types of contacts that are negotiable include:
- Business deals
- Real estate leases
- Financial contracts
- Manufacturer warranties
- Employment contracts
If you are planning to negotiate a contract, it is a good idea to hire an experienced business or contract lawyer to help you prepare and conduct the negotiation. A contract lawyer who is trained in negotiation can address all of your contractual needs and concerns and convey them to the other party or parties involved. Generally, you will want to get your lawyer involved in the negotiation process as early as possible to avoid any problems that will cause you to have to back track in the negotiation process.
Typically, a business contract will have room for negotiation because both parties will want to come to a conclusion that is fair and beneficial for both of them. During the negotiation, you can try to make the contract a better deal and eliminate any potential risks. By getting a lawyer to assist with the negotiation, they will be able to tell you about the risks involved and what the recommended course of action would be that is in your best interest. Ultimately, you can make the final decision about what risks you are willing to take.
The first step in any contract negotiation is to determine what you want and what your end goal is. You should identify what terms you must have and what terms you are willing to do without. Next, you should try and identify what terms the other party wants and brainstorm ways to come to a compromise for the both of you. A lawyer may recommend that both parties try to negotiate on their own prior to getting them involved. This communication can happen over the phone or via email. Both parties should attempt to meet an agreement on the proposed changes. After an agreement is made, then the parties can have the lawyer make changes to the contract for both parties to review.
Some more general steps that you can take during a contract negotiation include:
- Understand the goal of the contract. Know the underlying goal of the contract and understand what the purpose of the contract is.
- Prepare for questions and concerns. Anticipate any questions or concerns the other party may have. This can help build trust and make the negotiation process for smoother and quicker.
- Research applicable laws. Whether you are doing business with another party in the same or a different state you may need to do research on state or federal laws.
During the negotiation, it is important to remain civil and be respectful towards the other party to ensure the process goes smoothly. You may want to consider practicing any of the following contract negotiation strategies:
- Act credibly and in good faith at all times during the negotiation process.
- Recognize when the other party is not acting in good faith so you can avoid agreeing to their negotiation if it is not in your best interest.
- Clarify and define any vague terms and conditions in the contract to make sure any ambiguous points have been addressed or resolved.
- Negotiate the contract in chunks.
- Most importantly, do not lose sight of the overall objective and end goal that both pirates are trying to reach.
Putting together a contract can be a long and drawn out process, especially for complicated and complex business deals. It is important to start planning early and hire a lawyer to help during an early stage of the negotiation process.