While most in Florida understand that the legal profession can be quite lucrative for its practitioners, the expectation is that attorneys will still put their clients' interests above the potential of a significant payday. Attorneys may be incentivized to do so, as there will typically be little to recover if they are unable to secure favorable rulings for their clients. It may only be when an attorney takes their eyes off the obligation they have to their clients that problems arise.
The result of a recent legal malpractice lawsuit against a Jacksonville law firm serves to illustrate this point. The firm took on the case of a local couple following the complicated birth of their son. The mother experienced a uterine rupture during delivery, causing the baby to be without oxygen for an extended period, which resulted in brain damage. Florida created a statewide compensation agency back in 1988 to help cover the costs of care for babies born with neurological injuries. When compensation is accepted through this agency, the option to recover damages through a lawsuit becomes unavailable.
In this particular case, however, it was argued that the firm failed to offer the required notice for claims of injuries sustained by the mother during delivery, thus forfeiting the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim on her behalf. The stated reason for the oversight was, according to the plaintiffs, the firm being too preoccupied with the prospect of the payout it could receive from the baby's case prior to it being discovered that compensation was available through the state.
Such oversights can be costly for people needing compensation from their cases. Thus, those who have suffered from them may want to seek recourse with the help of an experienced legal malpractice attorney.