Sometimes it’s easy to determine whether or not your situation calls for legal action. If you’re charged with a criminal offense, you probably want to call a lawyer. If you’re attempting to divorce your spouse, but it’s not working out, you might benefit from having legal representation in negotiations. But what about all those other times when you might be able to take legal action? Is it really worth the money to invest in a lawyer, when you don’t even know if you have a case?

First, it’s important to note that nearly every respectable lawyer or law firm will offer prospective clients a free case evaluation or consultation. This is to determine whether or not the individual’s situation really could reach a favorable outcome through legal means.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at a few situations in which you might want to contact a local law firm:

1. You were injured in an accident caused by another party.

Personal injury cases are fairly common — not necessarily because the injured party wants to take revenge on the liable party, but simply because medical costs for treating injuries can be extremely high. When another person or organization is responsible for causing an accident that injured you, you may be able to obtain financial compensation through a settlement or a lawsuit. This compensation can cover costs such as medical bills, lost wages, and general pain and suffering.

2. Your case in criminal court did not produce a guilty verdict, and you still want to seek justice.

This type of situation might occur in personal injury cases or wrongful death cases where the defendant committed a crime and caused harm to another person. Criminal court tends to have a higher standard of proof to result in a guilty verdict. Without enough evidence, you might not be able to prove that the other party was liable. In this case, you might wish to pursue a civil court claim. The standard of proof in civil court is generally lower, and it does not result in penalties for a defendant who is ruled liable. Instead, civil court cases can result in a financial settlement that accounts for costs related to the incident. Perhaps more importantly, a civil court case can also bring a sense of justice when criminal court does not.

3. You believe your employer is acting unlawfully or breaking one of your Constitutional rights.

Fair employment is one of the most fundamental rights for Americans. Some businesses, however, choose to circumvent certain rules or laws simply to cut costs. Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are unlawful in the workplace, and you might have a case if you can prove that this is happening to you. Particularly if you’ve been injured on the job, you might want to check in with a lawyer to make sure that you’re receiving all the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to.

Remember, if you’re still wondering whether or not you have a case, you can contact a local lawyer and ask for a free case evaluation.