Lawyers, like all professionals, owe a duty of care to their clients.
Lawyers are human, and they make mistakes. If your lawyer was negligent in his or her representation of you, you may have a malpractice claim.
You may be able to sue your lawyer for professional negligence if their negligence causes you harm or a less favorable outcome or settlement in your case.
The process of proving a negligent lawyer’s legal malpractice claim is complicated and varies from case to case.
Before consulting a Connecticut legal malpractice attorney, ask yourself the following questions:
What is the accepted level of care?
It is not necessary for your lawyer to be perfect or even win your case. Lawyers must, however, exercise the same caution, competence, and diligence as other lawyers in their community in similar situations. When a lawyer is negligent, he or she violates this rule, resulting in a less beneficial outcome for their client.
Legal malpractice occurs when a careless practitioner fails to meet this standard of care.
What Are Some Legal Malpractice Examples?
Malpractice lawsuits are extremely fact-specific and are determined by the facts of your case.
A decision made by an attorney must be evaluated at the moment it was made. With the advantage of hindsight, decisions are rarely taken.. What the lawyer knew or should have known determines a lot.
However, there are a few frequent errors that lawyers make again and over again, including:
Billing errors; missed deadlines; failure to interact with clients;
Without the client’s approval, settling a litigation; providing false legal advice;
Stealing or losing the client’s money or property; incompetently drafting legal documents that do not protect your rights; failing to file a case before the statute of limitations expires; and taking a case despite a conflict of interest.
Is It Possible That I’ve Been Injured?
It is not enough to declare your lawyer made a mistake in order to win a legal malpractice case. Furthermore, you must have been harmed.
Legal malpractice frequently results in financial losses for injured clients.
For example, in your car accident case, your lawyer may have missed a deadline, resulting in your case being dismissed. You would have been able to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained in the collision if your lawyer had properly filed your paperwork. In a legal malpractice lawsuit, you can seek the compensation you would have gotten if your lawyer hadn’t been negligent.
Recognize that the courts will not hear legal malpractice cases solely to tell lawyers that they are incompetent. If you believe your lawyer is unethical, you can always file a complaint with the state’s grievance committee.
You can even call the police to have your lawyer investigated if you believe he or she has committed a crime.
What Am I Supposed to Prove?
Legal malpractice claims are difficult to prove and vary from case to case. A negligence claim is established by the following factors.
A duty of care arises from the presence of an attorney-client relationship.
An attorney-client relationship is usually established through a verbal or written agreement between the parties. Under a duty of care, an attorney must employ the same level of care, competence, and diligence as other lawyers in their community in similar situations. Expert witnesses may be required to assess what standard of care existed in your case if you sue a lawyer for professional negligence.
A breach occurs when a lawyer fails to represent you with reasonable care.
For example, if the standard of care requires your attorney to file papers on time and they miss a crucial deadline, they will have violated the standard of care.
Causation is established by demonstrating that you would have gotten a better settlement or result if the attorney hadn’t been negligent. To put it another way, the harm you incur must be directly related to the attorney’s negligence.
Because you don’t need a lawyer to win your case, the fact that you lost isn’t enough to prove causation. If evidence demonstrates that you would have lost your case regardless of the attorney’s breach, your malpractice claim may be severely weakened.
In a negligence malpractice case, damages are calculated based on what was recovered and what would have been recovered if the attorney hadn’t been negligent.
When an attorney fails to file a case before the statute of limitations expires, this is an example of negligence. The client will be unable to file a claim if the deadline is missed. The client must show that if their malpractice claim had been filed on time, they would have won their case. A receivable judgment and proof of the amount they would have won in the lawsuit are required.
What kind of evidence should I gather?
Gather all essential papers and information before initiating a legal malpractice action.
Gather all correspondence between you and your lawyer, as well as details about the case that prompted you to hire the lawyer in the first place.
Find your copy of a marriage separation agreement, for example, if you engaged a lawyer to draft it. Furthermore, your lawyer is required to keep a copy of your whole file and notify you before destroying it. If you have a legal malpractice case, you should either collect your file yourself or pay an attorney to do so on your behalf.
The Rules of Professional Conduct Must Be Obeyed by Your Attorney
The function of the lawyer is to defend and argue for you, as well as to protect your rights. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. The Connecticut Rules of Professional Responsibility must be followed by lawyers. If they break the guidelines, the rules may be used in court to prove the lawyers’ negligence.
In some cases, you can make a complaint, but the customer will not be compensated for their financial losses as a result of the complaint. Unfortunately, some people are unaware of this, and therefore wait to contact us until after they have filed a grievance, and sometimes even after the grievance has been decided.
If we are not contacted as soon as possible, valuable time is lost. Claims against lawyers are subject to time constraints. Failure to file a claim with us on time may result in the loss of all rights. We may potentially decline to participate as a result of the delay.
The goal for most of our customers is to recover compensation for whatever the lawyer did wrong.
StangerLaw LLC can assist you in understanding your rights and, if necessary, file a case against an attorney.