As a lawyer I am constantly contacted by family, friends, colleagues, potential clients, and others with questions and requests for information and advice. I welcome these questions and requests as they often provide the opportunity for me to impart some information and resources that can put the person in a better place than they were when he/she contacted me. Unfortunately, there are times when the person is already in a bad position from which there may be no point of return.
In an effort to prevent good people from falling into bad situations I offer these nuggets of free advice (and PLEASE share this post with your family, friends, and social networks):
- Buy an affordable and reliable vehicle. New is best because you have the benefit of a full warranty and the lemon law.
- If you cannot buy a new vehicle try to buy a used vehicle with a warranty from the dealer (not a third party contract or vehicle service agreement). Certified pre-owned vehicles are often good choices but be sure to strive for a warranty from the dealer as extra protection.
- Do your due diligence before agreeing to purchase a used vehicle. Yes, this may involve you spending some money on a vehicle report and possibly a vehicle inspection but this cost is minimal compared to what you may spend if you buy a rolling money pit.
- ALWAYS do your due diligence before purchasing a vehicle from an individual.
- Read and understand and ask all questions before you sign an agreement.
- Get a copy of the agreement you signed.
- Do not wait to the last minute to get help with a legal matter.
- If you stand to lose more than you can afford due to a failed promise, be sure to get the promise in writing.
- Do not just pay that traffic ticket—especially if it is out of state. Speak with a lawyer first and handle the citation yourself only if you understand the consequences.
- Do not contact a lawyer about your situation without having the relevant documents and information in hand or nearby. Click here for a list of the items you may need depending on the nature of your potential case.
- When consulting with a lawyer and after you hire a lawyer always the truth. Do not hide information. The things you fail to disclose often come back to bite you.