What may constitute legal malpractice

There are situations in which a person in Florida may find that an attorney has mishandled a case. If this happens, the person may have the option of filing a claim against the attorney for legal malpractice.

A common example is an attorney failing to observe the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim. In most cases, it is necessary to file within two years of the date of the injury or a realization that an injury has taken place. While this may seem like a straightforward rule, in more than 13% of cases involving legal malpractice, this is the reason for the claim. A person who hires an attorney may want to ask the attorney about the statute of limitations deadline and make a note of it.

There are additional reasons a person might file a legal malpractice suit against an attorney. An attorney might not follow court orders. The attorney could fail to follow discovery requirements or adequately conduct discovery. Improper conduct, including sexual misconduct, is another reason. People who are considering filing a lawsuit against an attorney may want to discuss the situation with attorneys and find out their background in legal malpractice law before choosing one. It may be best to hire one who has been successful with similar cases.

Like doctors and other professionals, attorneys have a responsibility to their clients. Courts recognize that not every legal case will result in the outcome that a client wants, and they distinguish this from cases of legal negligence that harm a person's case. Negligence is generally determined by considering what might be reasonably expected of an attorney. Missing deadlines, filling out paperwork incorrectly and failing to follow up on evidence that could affect a person's case are among the actions that may be considered legal malpractice.

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