Legal malpractice may not involve physical harm, but it’s still a form of personal injury. You’ve been harmed, often emotional and sometimes financially, as a result of poor advice from a lawyer, whom you expected to help out with your legal issues. Three things can happen here: you lose your money, you lose your case or both.
Your situation with a lawyer that failed you might not be as uncommon as you think. Here are the most common malpractice claims based on data gathered by the American Bar Association.
Failure to Know or Apply Law
Based on claims filed between 2000 and 2007, 11.3 percent of them were on the grounds that the lawyer failed to realize known legal facts or misinterpreted them. Research should be one of your lawyer’s strongest points, with attention to detail being second to none. Courts warn that lack of research is a strong evidence of incompetence.
Nearly 9 percent of legal malpractice claims were attributed to failure to plan on how to tackle a certain case. Representing a client’s best interests requires strategy on the lawyer’s part. If the case doesn’t result in at least an amicable settlement, the client may be quick to suspect incompetence.
Cases demand nothing but the truth. Lawyers must conduct their own inquiries into a matter to determine the best approach for the client’s case.