If you think about the origin of many client complaints and legal malpractice lawsuits, you probably don’t consider the role of client expectations. After all, all malpractice suits stem from unhappy clients, so whether their expectations were realistic or not may not be readily considered.
However, quite the opposite is true; especially when considering the desires and perceptions of personal injury plaintiffs. This post will highlight a couple of important things that plaintiff’s lawyers should be aware of.
First and foremost, a lawyer’s agreement to represent an injury plaintiff is an implied (or express) representation that the case has value. With that, the plaintiff will quickly develop an expectation that he or she will receive money at the end of the case. However, the lawyer must also take great care to explain how the case may be perceived by neutral observers (i.e. a jury) and how the pain the plaintiff feels may not always be compensated.
Moreover, the attorney must also explain the chances of success in a particular case; taking into account the severity of the injuries, the facts involved and how the law may apply given the circumstances. With that, the attorney should be objective in evaluating the case and be careful not to overstate its value. Failing to do so may lead the client to believe that he or she will win the case very easily. When this does not come to fruition, a frustrated client will only blame the attorney.
The preceding is not legal advice. An experienced legal malpractice attorney can evaluate your case.