Everything You Need To Know About Legal Malpractice
When you invest money into a lawyer to help defend your case, you have the right to receive high-quality assistance. This is because hiring an attorney can be a costly decision, and it’s one that requires both immense commitment and trust. However, despite being paid to perform their duties, sometimes attorneys can violate their clients’ trust by acting negligently while handling a case. When a lawyer isn’t doing their job to protect you and ends up hurting you instead, you have the choice to pursue legal action against the lawyer, as well.
What Is Legal Malpractice?
Legal malpractice is when a lawyer fails to uphold their duty of protecting the client. To elaborate upon this further, a lawyer’s failure to perform their duty doesn’t necessarily mean that the case was just lost. Instead, legal malpractice is when a case is inevitably lost due to negligence on the lawyer’s behalf. As a result of the lawyer’s actions and mistakes, the client faces harm that could have been avoided. Out of all the lawyer types, personal injury lawyers are most likely to be involved in a legal malpractice suit.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LEGAL MALPRACTICE?
Legal malpractice can appear in many different forms. The different types of legal malpractice include but are not limited to:
- Failure to meet timelines and sue within the statute of limitations
- Abusing a client’s trust account and their funds
- Ignoring a client for extended periods of time
- Settling a case without client authorization beforehand
- Failure to apply a new law properly
HOW IS LEGAL MALPRACTICE PROVEN?
In legal malpractice suits, the burden of proof falls on the plaintiff. For a lawyer to be convicted of legal malpractice, it must be proven that the lawyer breached their duty to protect you, which ultimately caused harm and damages as a result. This responsibility of having to prove a violation of care applies in medical malpractice cases as well. Because these strict guidelines have to be clearly presented in court, winning a malpractice case often is not easy.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT AGAINST LEGAL MALPRACTICE?
Choosing a lawyer to represent you is not the easiest decision to make. As you embark on your lawyer search to find your best fit, it is important to be cognizant of signs that are markers of a lawyer’s abilities. While searching for a lawyer to assist you, make sure to take note of these red flags so you do not fall victim to legal malpractice:
- Poor Communication
- Taking on cases beyond their expertise
- Covering up common mistakes
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED LEGAL MALPRACTICE?
Legal malpractice is a difficult situation because you have to pursue legal action against the people who were supposed to help you in the first place. If you have fallen victim to legal malpractice, our experienced team of Chicago legal malpractice attorneys here at King & Jones is here to help. To schedule a free consultation with us, please do not hesitate to give our office a call at 312-372-4142 today.