Making an error is part of being human. However, when you trust the most important parts of your life, like your future, finances or marriage, to a lawyer, you probably expect a certain level of professionalism.
Despite a counselor’s intent to help you seek favorable results in your case, he or she could potentially make a grave mistake. Though attorneys practice law, they are not above reproach. In some circumstances, you can hold your legal counsel accountable.
Three factors of legal malpractice
Neither a lost case nor different results than you desired mean you had faulty representation. However, some mistakes could leave you wondering whether things could have turned out differently.
If you wonder whether you have grounds for a legal malpractice lawsuit, consider whether:
- Your attorney made a mistake that caused you damage. For example, you may have a case for negligence if your lawyer failed to file your suit within the allowed statute of limitations and you were unable to collect a financial judgment as a result.
- The costs associated with pursuing a claim should be well worth fighting to recover damages. You likely need assistance with proving that your previous representation did not maintain an adequate duty of care.
- Negligence factored into your case. If your attorney acted within the confines of the law and maintained a professional standard of care, a mistake, while potentially unfavorable, may not equate to malpractice.
When you hire a licensed professional, you can expect honest communication, free from a conflict of interest. However, if you believe ethical lines were blurred, you have the right to further explore your options.