Legal malpractice hurts you and your case. As someone who was already struggling with a legal issue, knowing that your attorney didn't do what he or she should have is not only frustrating and insulting but also costly.
Fortunately, you can recognize legal malpractice and take steps to obtain compensation for the way you've been treated. You should not lose your case or have a lack of access to compensation because of an attorney's lack of communication or negligence. Here are a few ways you can tell if you've been a victim of legal malpractice.
1. The attorney didn't know the proper deadlines
Did your case miss the statute of limitations, making it impossible for you to file a claim? Did your attorney have all the information needed and fail to file the documents with the court? This is a sign of your attorney being negligent or failing to know the deadlines for your case.
2. Your attorney acted fraudulently
Maybe he or she took the money for your case and failed to use in that way, or perhaps he said he could help you with a case but misrepresented his knowledge. If your attorney is acting in a fraudulent way, it is malpractice.
3. Your attorney has a conflict of interest
Your attorney should never work with both sides of a case. For example, if he or she is an attorney for the person you're filing a claim against, he or she should not take your case. Additionally, if he or she knows the party you're filing a claim against, it is not ethical to represent your case.
4. Your attorney doesn't communicate
A lack of communication can mean that you don't file a case at all or that you miss deadlines to do so. It can also mean you don't have your questions answered and don't understand what you need to do to move your case forward. Your attorney should always communicate with you as soon as possible after each step of your case or when you ask questions or contact him or her.
These are a few things that you can recognize as legal malpractice. Delays in returning calls, conflicts of interest, fraud and negligence can all hurt your case. If you suffer financially as a result of your attorney's negligence, another attorney can help you file a claim against your previous attorney for compensation.