When you turn to a lawyer for help with a legal matter, your belief (and hope) is that you will achieve the desired outcome for your case. After all, that’s the point of hiring legal representation, right?
However, if your case is unsuccessful or doesn’t come out as you hoped, you may wonder – is that legal malpractice.
What is legal malpractice?
Legal malpractice isn’t just a simple mistake made by your lawyer. Also, it’s not legal malpractice if your case is unsuccessful.
True cases of legal malpractice occur when your lawyer was negligent in some way or if you can prove there was a breach of contract or fiduciary duty.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule.
When can you sue for legal malpractice?
Before pursuing a legal malpractice claim, it’s worth noting they are challenging to prove. After all, attorneys are humans, and mistakes happen. Since the burden of proof is on you to show negligence, you must be sure this occurred.
However, a legal malpractice suit may be filed in situations where negligence is evident. Some of the situations that may constitute a legal malpractice claim include:
- Your lawyer stops working on your case
- Errors occurred during the trial
- Your lawyer recommends a settlement less than what you deserve or estimated your case was worth
- Failure to meet important deadlines
- Failure to return your calls
- Falling asleep in court
Seeking damages in cases of legal malpractice
An unsuccessful case alone doesn’t constitute legal malpractice. However, if any of the extenuating circumstances above led or contributed to the loss of your case, you may want to consider if your attorney was negligent.
While proving legal malpractice can be challenging, it’s not impossible. It’s important to gather information and keep records to ensure you can prove your claim. If an attorney is found to be negligent and convicted of legal malpractice, you may receive damages.