When you hire an attorney, you expect them to look out for your best interests and to provide competent representation in your legal matter. A lawyer can help you settle a personal injury claim or defend yourself against criminal charges.
Unfortunately, sometimes an attorney will hurt your case rather than help it. Individuals who believe that their attorney had a conflict of interest or who feel that the representation they received was inadequate can sometimes bring legal malpractice claims against the lawyers who handled their cases.
What happens when you file a legal malpractice lawsuit?
You open the door to negotiation
Chances are good that even if you have documented complaints, your lawyer won’t acknowledge their mistake or the impact their actions have had on you. A legal malpractice claim allows you to present your evidence to the court and potentially ask for compensation.
Lawyers, eager to avoid professional embarrassment, may take a lawsuit more seriously than the phone calls you previously made to their office. The lawyer themselves may agree to speak to your new attorney, or their insurance company may contact you for negotiations.
Lawyers typically carry at least a million dollars of legal malpractice insurance, although big firms may carry more coverage than that. These insurance policies can compensate those affected by a lawyer whose professional mistakes or omissions lead to serious consequences for their clients. You may be able to settle the matter outside of court.
You finally receive justice in a courtroom
When the resolution to your legal issue was unfavorable because of your attorney’s failure, successfully bringing a claim against them in court can be a form of vindication. A legal malpractice claim can provide both acknowledgment and compensation for clients affected by someone’s poor practice of law.
A judge can potentially award you damages, and the lawyer involved might face professional censure after losing a lawsuit about the way they practice law.
You may open the door for an appeal
In certain scenarios, inadequate representation may provide grounds for an appeal. You could potentially revisit the earlier court case that the lawyers for representation affected.
Understanding how legal malpractice claims can give you justice might give you the motivation to hold a lawyer accountable for their professional failures.