Q. When would I need a lawyer's assistance?
A. If the amount of damage is less than $5,000.00 in Maryland and between $5,000.00 and $10,000 in New York (depending on where you live), the matter can be brought in a "Small Claims Court."
These courts are inexpensive and easy to use and do not require that you be represented by a lawyer.
You can find more information about small claims in New York by following this link:https://nycourts.gov/courthelp/SmallClaims/index.shtml
You can find more information about small claims in Maryland by following this link:https://mdcourts.gov/legalhelp/smallclaims
If the matter cannot be brought in small claims you should strongly consider retaining a lawyer to represent you because the courts will require that the parties comply with their rules of procedure and evidence.