In any legal action, particularly lawsuits, somebody wins, and somebody loses. If you are the loser, you may begin to wonder whether you had the best representation. But anger over losing is not a good reason to initiate a legal malpractice suit in Florida.
Tampa Bay Online explains that, while attorneys are expected to take the actions of any other reasonably careful lawyer, perfection is not and cannot be a requirement of a legal representative. A malpractice suit against an attorney must be able to prove four things:
- That you are engaged in or meant to benefit from, an attorney/client relationship.
- Your lawyer failed to act reasonably by committing an error or by failing to take some action.
- Your attorney’s mistake or failure to act contributed significantly to your damage or injury.
- That you did indeed suffer loss, injury or damage.
First, you must show that if your attorney had not been mistaken or negligent, you would have won your case. That is a tough thing to prove by itself. But the fourth and final point is the most significant obstacle to overcome in a malpractice case. You must also show that you would have received damages from the defendant, or that the defendant was able to pay the costs. If a defendant is unable to pay injuries, the court may consider your case “null and void.” In other words, you would not have collected damages anyway, so no actual harm was done, despite your attorney’s negligence.
If you feel your case was mishandled, you may want to consider seeking legal advice, even if the case is ongoing. A legal malpractice case is a complicated issue, and there is a two-year statute of limitations on the filing.
This article contains valuable information about legal malpractice that is general in nature. It is not intended as legal advice.