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. The law does not afford the buyer as much protection when the seller is an individual.
- Read and understand and ask all questions before you sign an agreement.
- Get a copy of all important agreements 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 tell the truth. If things change provide the lawyer with an update. Do not hide information from your lawyer. The things you fail to disclose often come back to bite you.