Distinguishing client dissatisfaction from legal malpractice

When hiring an attorney to assist you with an injury claim, an incident involving medical malpractice or virtually any other legal situation, you expect them to represent your case with professionalism and achieve the results you desire.

You assume your attorney will update you on the progress of your case, follow the law precisely and use their legal expertise for your advantage. Unfortunately, though, that does not always happen.

What can you do if you are dissatisfied with your attorney?

Dissatisfaction with an attorney may not constitute a legal malpractice claim. Sometimes attorneys make mistakes; as the client, it is your duty to determine whether or not the error classifies as malpractice.

You can terminate your legal representation at any time if you are unhappy with their performance. You will still be responsible for any agreed-upon payment and could potentially face a fee for terminating the contract.

Your lawyer should give you the work they had already completed, and you will be free to find a new attorney if you wish to do so.

What if your attorney wronged you?

On the other hand, if your attorney did not perform their legal duty to you as their client, you may be able to hold them accountable.

Here are situations that may classify as legal malpractice:

  • The attorney does not file the claim within the necessary time-frame; and the result of your case would have been different had your attorney followed the duty of care.
  • You suffered financial loss due to your lawyer’s negligence.
  • There was a breach of contract or fiduciary duty.

If your attorney did not get the results you legally deserve, you might be able to file a lawsuit against the attorney. Be aware that legal malpractice suits are often expensive. There are many aspects to consider before filing a claim.

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