When you make the decision to retain an attorney, it’s most likely because you’ve gotten into a legal situation you can’t handle on your own. How do you know that your lawyer performed their duties to the best of their abilities? What do you do if you think they have made your situation worse instead of better?
People who hire a lawyer have a right to expect a reasonable standard of care commonly associated with others who practice law. If your lawyer performs at a level lower than that, you may have a case of legal malpractice.
However, proving a legal malpractice case is not easy. Just because you lost the case doesn’t mean your lawyer is guilty of malpractice. If you suspect that your lawyer may be botching up your case or has already done so, it’s extremely important that you act quickly. It may be costly and cumbersome to undo or reverse any damage which has already been done.
Here are some signs that you may have a legitimate legal malpractice case:
- Your attorney isn’t returning your phone calls – This may signal that your lawyer has stopped working on your case. The longer there is no work being done, the more likely you have a malpractice case. Your lawyer owes it to you to return your phone calls or emails to update you on the case’s progress.
- Case is thrown out because of missed deadlines – Not hitting deadlines is inexcusable for an attorney. However, it must be proven that you would have won your case had it not been for the missed deadline.
- Decisions were made without your approval – If your lawyer signs off on a settlement which you didn’t agree to, that may be considered malpractice. You’ll have to seek a second legal opinion to determine if the settlement is too low.
The difficulty in proving legal malpractice cases is that it must be shown that not only did your attorney act unprofessionally and not provide a reasonable standard of care, but that their actions cost you your case or the outcome you should have received. It must be proven that had it not been for your attorney’s mishandling of the case, the outcome would have been considerably more beneficial to you.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of legal malpractice contact the legal malpractice attorneys at Team Law. Our experienced attorneys will take a look at your case and offer a second opinion about your lawyer’s conduct, and if their actions warrant you pursuing a suit.