Pre-paid legal plans are not for everyone but for many they are a feasible and affordable alternative to spending many thousands of dollars on hiring lawyers. Especially if you’re on a fixed income which simply won’t stretch to include this expense. But before signing up for a plan, you need to consider your specific legal requirements and whether or not a pre-paid legal plan will be of benefit to you.
Pre-paid Vs Conventional Lawyer Hire
First of all, pre-paid legal plans are a very cost effective way of obtaining some types of legal assistance. If this is the type of legal aid you require, then pre-paid is likely going to be a good option for you. Most pre-paid plans cost in the order of $9 to $30 a month, which is along the same lines as your average home or health insurance policy. This for many people is much more affordable than the $100 or more per hour fee most lawyers charge.
Secondly, pre-paid legal plans are generally very simple. What you get for your particular plan is already set in the fee structure and all you do is work out what services you’ll require, sign the agreement and pay the monthly premiums. If a particular service is not covered by your plan, you can usually obtain this at a reduced rate or you’ll be given a different billing with prior notice so you know how much you’ll be charged.
Dealing with the schedule of fees charged by a lawyer on the other hand is a lot more complex. There are contingency fees, hourly rates, flat fees, statutory fees and so on. Contingency and statutory fees are computed in various ways and incorporate the lawyer’s commission and a range of other contingencies that you may need to inquire about. Then you have to work out whether the fees you’ll be charged are in line with regulatory guidelines. And so on.
With flat fees and hourly fees, these often include overheads such as travel expenses, parking fees and secretarial expenses. Most lawyers work in billing units and many have a minimum unit which is what their clients are charged regardless of whether or not it actually took that long to resolve your problem. So if their minimum billing unit is 15 minutes but they only spent 8 minutes on you, you still get charged for the 15 minutes.
It’s probably fair to say that a large number of the legal problems encountered by most people can be sorted out easily enough simply by ensuring that the required steps to mitigate or avoid the issue are taken in accordance with the law. Therefore, it’s likely that some time spent on the phone talking to a lawyer and getting help and advice that way will go a long way towards resolving or avoiding a potential legal issue for many people. Therefore, most pre-paid plans provide for unlimited phone consultations and advice; if you take advantage of this aspect of the service to consult with a lawyer and get the appropriate advice and consultation before making a legal blunder, you can save yourself money, time, trouble and reduce the risk of litigation.
The information in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Visit DUI Attorneys Los Angeles for more law themed articles.