Whether you have hired a lawyer to defend you for a criminal charge or to help you settle your divorce, you expect him or her to the job to the best of his or her ability. While the majority of lawyers are trustworthy and work hard for their clients, some lawyers make careless mistakes that harm their clients. If you believe that your lawyer had done something wrong, you may be able to sue him or her for legal malpractice with the assistance of a lawyer.
What Is Legal Malpractice?
It’s important to understand that you can’t sue your lawyer just because you lost your case. In order to successfully sue a lawyer for legal malpractice, you have to prove that he or she didn’t act like another competent lawyer would have in a similar situation. In a legal malpractice, you have to show the court that your lawyer was supposed to perform an act, did it incorrectly or didn’t do it all and you suffered financial losses because of it.
What Are the Different Types of Legal Malpractice?
There are several types of legal malpractice a lawyer can commit, including:
- Breach of Duty: A breach of duty occurs when a lawyer does something a reasonable lawyer wouldn’t have done in his or her position. This may include lying to you, using the funds you provided incorrectly and settling your case without talking to you first.
- Negligence: If your lawyer was negligent at any point in your case, you may also be able to sue him or her for malpractice. Negligence may include anything from missing a deadline to filing the wrong papers. These acts might not have been intentional, but they still were damaging to your case.
- Breach of Contract: It’s also possible to sue your lawyer if he or she didn’t do something he or she agreed to in a contract. For example, if your lawyer failed to file a deed that he or she was contractually obligated to do, that’s grounds for legal malpractice.
How Do You Sue Your Lawyer?
If you believe that your lawyer committed legal malpractice, your first step is to consult with an experienced legal malpractice lawyer. A legal malpractice case can be incredibly complex and you want someone with knowledge and experience on your side. It’s important to gather any documents that pertain to the case your previous lawyer handled and bring them with you to the consultation. This may include any contracts you signed and bank statements.
A legal malpractice lawyer will carefully look through these documents and determine if you have a valid case or not. He or she will also ask you several questions about your case, such as when you hired your previous lawyer and what he or she did to harm your case. Try to be as detailed as possible in your answers.