Everyone makes mistakes, but very often mistakes can have very serious consequences. You may have had an attorney who made a mistake that cost you something important – or was it not a mistake but legal malpractice? There are some questions you can ask to help you determine if you should go ahead with a legal malpractice claim or if the attorney’s actions may be considered a mistake.
What is legal malpractice?
When you are trying to decide who to hire as your attorney, you probably tried to choose someone with years of experience, and they might be quite capable. But sometimes mistakes can happen. A “mistake” is considered malpractice if
• The attorney was negligent. Negligence can be anything from missing a deadline for filing paperwork to failing to introduce evidence. This can be a tricky one, as it is easy to look back after a case is over and say something different should have been done. However, there is a “standard of care” that attorneys are obligated to uphold. It is important to remember that legal malpractice has nothing to do with not getting the outcome you were hoping for, which can be the result of many different factors, some of them not even related to your attorney.
• The attorney’s actions caused damage. A good example of this is an attorney who failed to file paperwork for a lawsuit before a deadline. This is obviously irresponsible, but only considered malpractice if you can prove within a legal certainty that you would have won the case had it gone forward – something that can be difficult to prove.
There is also another factor to consider if you are trying to decide what to do about your attorney’s mistake or malpractice: were the damages significant enough to justify the expense and the emotional stress of filing a legal claim?
Was your attorney negligent or was it an honest mistake? Laurie Robbins has the experience and the expertise to help you decide if your lawyer was negligent and if you should continue with a legal malpractice suit. Contact the Atlanta office at 404-252-8117 today for a free consultation.