We all know that America is home to the most litigious society on the planet. A woman spills a cup of coffee on herself and sues the restaurant claiming it was too hot. Or how about the Judge that sued the cleaners for $54 million for losing a suit. If that’s not crazy enough, how about the concert goer, who several years after the incident, sued the rock star for falling on her and injuring her with his buttocks. You can Google “outrageous law suits” and get over 3 million results that include stories even more ludicrous than these. When you consider that there are 3 lawsuits filed in America every second, is it any wonder why legal plans are becoming a big part of the financial and security protection for families and small businesses? Remember, sixty years ago it was uncommon to own a health plan. Today it is uncommon not to have one. And today, many European countries have as much as an 80% participation rate with legal plans. But in America, and Canada for that matter, less than 10% of people have a legal plan.
So a law suit is one thing, but what about the everyday common things that can cause our veins to pop out of our heads. Here’s one:
A father pays for his daughter’s wedding reception to be held at very nice ball room. A few hours into the event, the plumbing goes out. He calls the event manager to request emergency services, and they arrive with a port-a-potty. After the event, when he calls to register a complaint, they offer a small refund of about $100, about ten percent, arguing that the event was almost over anyway. They haggle back and forth, and the owner basically says take it or leave it. The father calls his legal plan provider law firm for assistance. After the law firm writes a letter on his behalf to the business owner, the father receives a refund in the mail for over half of the cost.
While a neighbor is walking his rottweiler dog, he lets it loose to run and it attacks and kills another a chihuahua dog that was in its own yard. The neighbor quickly retrieves his dog and disappears. When the police are called, they basically tell the dead dog’s owners that there really isn’t much they can do, and that maybe they should call the county animal control. The deceased dog’s owner makes a call to the legal plan provider attorney, and is advised to request that the police take a report and to have the incident on record, and then call animal control with that report number to have them investigate. Subsequently, when animal control does investigate, they find that the attacking dog is not registered, takes it into custody, fines the owner and requires that they register their dog to get it back. Also, a the legal plan law firm writes a letter to the owner demanding a monetary amount for full restoration of the dead dog. The attacking dog’s owner complies.
Having a legal plan to address the small legal issues like these can be quite beneficial to families, especially for the relatively small cost that they charge. Most charge a monthly fee, with the average daily cost being less than the price of a cup of coffee at the local convenience store.
Most legal plan companies will generally provide you with the basics, like phone consultation, letters and phone calls on your behalf, contract and document review, and a general will. And some of the legal plan companies provide more extensive plans that will cover you, at no extra cost, for representation for things like motor vehicle moving violations, IRS Audits, and trial defense services. And even a few provide Identity Theft Protection.
Having legal representation in court for vehicle moving violations – lets call it what it is, speeding – can really be valuable when it comes to car insurance premiums. As it was described to me years ago, “It’s the points, dummy.”. For we all know that for every point on your driving record, or your teenager’s driving record for that matter, your insurance premium will go up – if they don’t drop you altogether. If you can find a plan that offers this coverage – and there are some out there – it could be a huge plus for you pockets.
I won’t even go into depth about dealing with an IRS audit. Plain and simple, when Uncle Sam comes calling, you better answer with a tax attorney.
And as you already read earlier, law suits are getting crazier by the day. And more are being filed than ever before.
So, in summary, when you know that the odds are greater that one will be in court than in the hospital in the next year, the question isn’t “Does your family need legal protection?”, the question is “Can your family afford not to have a legal plan?” After all, with these odds, it goes to say that it’s not if you are going to need an attorney, but quite frankly, when you are going to need one.