You were involved in a serious car crash with a local prosecutor. You tried hard to find someone who would be willing to take your case, because you wanted to make sure that you’d get a fair settlement and be able to move on with your life knowing you did all you could to make sure your situation was resolved fairly.
You discovered it was extremely difficult to find an attorney to represent you. Many of them were friends with the prosector with whom you’d been in the accident. Once you did find someone to take the case, you were concerned that they asked you to settle for too little, especially after speaking with an attorney who was from another area. Could you be a victim of a conflict of interest? You may be.
What is a conflict of interest?
A conflict of interest happens when one attorney represents both parties with opposing interests without telling them and getting their consent. It can also happen if the representation of a client conflicts with the attorney’s other client or a former client.
Sometimes, it happens if the attorney’s private interests are in conflict with professional interests, such as taking a case that is seeking to penalize a friend or family member. Additionally, it can occur if the attorney or anyone they are related to (or closely associated with) have financial interests that are linked to the case’s outcome.
Why is a conflict of interest so bad?
While it would be nice to trust that everyone who takes on a case can be neutral, the reality is that all people have their own biases. If an attorney is asked to represent a person who wants to sue the attorney’s sibling, it would make sense not to take the case, because the attorney may not want to do the research needed to make a solid case. Instead, they may make an effort to protect their family.
Any time a conflict of interest is present, there is a potential for the mishandling of the case, which is why it’s so essential to make sure there are no potential conflicts.
If you believe that you lost your ability to file a claim or were not represented fairly because of a conflict of interest, it’s worth speaking with an attorney who is not affiliated with those you spoke with to get another opinion about how your case was handled.