On Trucker Attorney Qualifications, Costs and Networks

When you need trucker legal help, is having a qualified trucker attorney vital?

Qualifications of a competent trucker attorney vs. qualifications of a non-attorney. Which would you rather have represent you?Yes, having an actual attorney instead of a paralegal giving legal advice is vital.

We don’t have anything against paralegals, but according to an article on the Houston Chronicle’s website:

“The chief difference between a paralegal and an attorney is that a paralegal does not have a license to practice law and an attorney does.”

Under no circumstances should you obtain a legal services plan thinking that you’ve hiring a network of attorneys only to find out that what you’ve hired is a network of paralegals.

(If you’ve been sold one thing and come to find out that it isn’t what it claimed to be, please write a service review.)

Experience Where Needed

Another consideration to make is that you will need a trucker attorney who has experience in the area of law where it is needed.

Just as you wouldn’t go to see a podiatrist (foot doctor) when you need a cardiologist (heart doctor), so you wouldn’t need a local attorney specializing in bankruptcy law when you’ve gotten a trucking-related ticket out-of-state.

LawProfessor.com has a list of the various branches of law or types of legal needs that people may have.

What About Pre-Paying for Legal Help?

A legal services plan can be looked upon as a big brother who is ready to help when needed.First, let’s get a definition about what this means.

Wikipedia says:

“A pre-paid legal service (PPL or PPLS) is an individual or group low-cost insurance provider for specific, limited legal services (usually basic, but sometimes specialized) from participating law firms and attorneys at costs considerably less than independently hiring these providers.”

When you’re considering hiring a trucker attorney, why should you give thought to getting a legal services plan that has a network of attorneys?

  • There is power in numbers in the law firm.You have the combined power of the attorneys in one law firm ready to help you when you need it.When we have had a letter written by an attorney in our behalf, the first page (assuming a multi-page letter) has a list of the firm’s attorneys at the top.Imagine being on the receiving end of a letter from a law firm where inches of room are filled with nothing but the contact information of the law firm and many, many names of attorneys who practice there!
  • There are many factors to take into consideration.There is power in the network.Depending on the legal services plan you buy, you could have a nationwide (or even international) network of attorneys at your fingertips — even if you have to pay extra for the services of referred attorneys.The benefit of the network is that you don’t have to spend your time researching which attorney practicing the area of law where you need help will best represent you.Furthermore, you will have someone to help you (if it goes that far) in the “court of original jurisdiction” (that is, where the supposed violation took place.)
  • There is power in numbers as the client.When you get a legal services plan, you and everyone else who has a legal services plan in your state (or province) become part of that law firm’s largest client.The law firm wants to do a good job for their largest client.
  • There is power in accountability.When you buy a membership in a well-managed legal services plan, not only are you dealing with the law firm when needed, but there is accountability on the back end from the company managing the legal services plans.If you don’t get the representation you think you deserve from your trucker attorney, you can contact the company through which you’re buying your membership for resolution.(We have never had to do this with our family legal services plan, even when we needed trucker legal help.)

Legal Insurance?

The Wikipedia definition above may imply that a pre-paid legal service plan is a form of “legal insurance.” Is it?

Some folks will say that there is no comparison between getting a legal services plan and insurance. After all, car owners are required to have car insurance before they can drive their car or get a license tag.

No one makes a “claim” for “damages” with a legal services plan.

Quality legal service plans that are prepaid can help protect one's finances.So in that regard, hiring a trucker attorney firm or network through a pre-paid legal service is not the same thing as having “legal insurance.”

But it sure seems like it sometimes when you need legal help and don’t have to pay huge hourly fees.

Small Monthly Fee Versus Never-Ending Fees?

We know two people who had separate legal issues in a certain jurisdiction.

We told the lady who needed legal help about getting a legal services plan.

She ignored our advice — much to the detriment of her bank account.

Both people ended up hiring a cut-throat attorney who charged an hourly rate for his services and never seemed to get through with his work.

By hiring a trucker attorney privately, depending on your legal need, you run the risk of never-ending legal bills.

What is the Average Attorney’s Fee?

Wikipedia says this:

  • “Attorney’s fee is a chiefly United States term for compensation for legal services performed by an attorney (lawyer or law firm) for a client, in or out of court. It may be an hourly, flat-rate or contingent fee. Attorney fees are separate from fines, compensatory and punitive damages, and (except in Nevada) from court costs in a legal case. Surveys suggest that fees range from $150 to $1000 per hour when billed hourly.”
  • “The range of fees charged by lawyers varies widely from one city to the next. Most large law firms in the United States bill between $200 and $1,000 per hour for their lawyers’ time, though fees charged by smaller firms are much lower. The rate varies tremendously by location as well as the specific area of law practiced.”

If you can afford to pay these rates, you’re better off than most truckers we know and probably don’t even need to be reading this page!

Someone You Know is an Attorney?

Have questions.Some people think that just because a relative or friend is an attorney that they can pick up the phone and get help — and for free, at that!

Assuming that the lawyer is qualified in the area of law where you need it (meaning that he/she is a trucker lawyer), think about how getting ongoing help from this person may strain your relationship.

Yes, there are some kind-hearted attorneys who do pro bono work, but most of the time they want to get paid for their work just like you want to get paid for your work. Be careful.

Let the Buyer Beware

Because of the multitudes of legal situations and legal service providers, the information above has been written as a general overview only and should not in and of itself be considered legal advice.

Do your own due diligence before you enter into any agreement with any trucker attorney or network of trucker attorneys.

truck drivers money saving tip iconMoney saving tip: Most truckers do not require a lot of legal help all the time.

But when they need trucker legal help, they need a trucker attorney who is qualified to practice that area of law where the need exists.

To save money, determine if you need a legal services plan that will cover only your trucking needs or both your personal and trucking needs.

Also, evaluate the differences between the legal service plans being offered by different firms.

Answer these questions to your satisfaction:

  • Do the plans have a network of attorneys or only paralegals?
  • What service reviews have the plans received?

Return from On Trucker Attorney Qualifications, Costs and Networks to our Trucker Services page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.