A prepaid legal service is essentially like a form of legal insurance. In fact, the product is even sometimes referred to as personal legal insurance! This basically involves paying up-front, in order to gain protection later. As we will see in the course of this article, that can save you a lot of money directly, and indirectly.
Here’s what you need to know.
How Prepaid Legal Services Save You Money
The issue is that legal expenses can be costly, but they can also be unavoidable. Let’s say that someone rear-ends you and refuses to pay up. Or what if you’re accused of a crime and forced to defend yourself in court? Maybe your business is being taken to court for negligence.
Whatever the case, you are now forced to either pay a hefty fine, or shell out huge amounts of money for legal fees. If you should lose your case, you’ll now have to pay those fees and the costs associated with the legal aid!
This leaves the average person in a sticky situation. The law should theoretically be there to protect the average citizen: to ensure that they have the same defense and fair treatment as everyone else. But because there is a cost on legal support, this means that people who are better funded can take advantage of those who aren’t.
And that’s wrong.
Prepaid legal services can help to solve this problem. By paying in advance, you’ll essentially have access to legal services when you need them (within reason). This not only means that you’ll never find yourself taking out huge loans just to afford legal expenses that you need, but it also means you’ll be able to confidently stand up for yourself, knowing that you will have that support if you need it. It means that no one can strong-arm you into out-of-court settlements, or paying for things that you
This can save you thousands of dollars by not only helping you to win cases, but also giving you the confidence to take people on legally when you have a right to.
How it Works – The Details
So how does this work?
What’s important to remember, is that personal legal insurance is not really insurance. Think of it more as a discount plan, which means that you’re not going to get full legal fees entirely for free!
What will normally be covered by this kind of plan is the consultation you would normally have with a lawyer at their hourly rate. This can normally cost hundreds of dollars, so that’s already a big saving!
Likewise, the costs associated with preparing or reviewing documents will also be covered, such as advance healthcare directives. In some cases, you may even get unlimited access to attorneys through toll-free numbers!
But there will likewise be many services not covered. For example, you will normally only be able to choose from a limited number of providers. In some cases, those prepaid legal services will have been purchased directly from a law firm – tying you to that provider only.
Some services will be discounted but not fully covered. These might include such things as filing fees, or expert witness fees.
Some services will be completely omitted. These often include such things as court appearances, business advice, or employment issues. Likewise, you won’t be able to use this insurance to simply start suing people! If you attempt to file a lawsuit that could be considered frivolous, you likely won’t get any financial aid1.
Making the Right Choice for You
Of course, the specifics on offer will vary depending on the company providing your prepaid legal services, and on the package. More comprehensive plans tend to cost more, but they might also save you a lot more in future. As with all types of insurance, it’s not about whether you can afford to have it, but whether you can afford not to.
Do keep in mind that in some cases, you will have certain legal fees already covered by other types of insurance. For instance, your auto insurance may actually cover that aforementioned rear-ending scenario.
But remember: prepaid legal services don’t only save you money by helping you to win cases and defend yourself. They also save you money by giving you confidence and advice, and helping you to navigate a world that has become very sue-happy. With prepaid legal services, you have the law on your side, and a lawyer in your corner. So lawyer up!