Legal Malpractice Case Evaluation – Evaluating Validity of Claims
Legal malpractice case evaluation is complex because these cases rely upon an initial separate claim having been poorly litigated or not handled at all. Think of it like a case inside a case.
Lawyers are generally hired to pursue or protect the rights and interests of their clients. When they fail to do this and a client’s interest is harmed, the client may have a claim for legal malpractice. The damage from this kind of failure can compound the problem or underlying legal claim for which the lawyer was originally hired.
Valid Legal Malpractice Cases
If your lawyer has missed an important deadline(s) in your case and you have suffered harm because of it, you may be eligible to pursue a legal malpractice case. Legal malpractice can be difficult to prove and it is important to note that poor outcomes or lost cases are not necessarily the result of malpractice. Unless it can be proved that your attorney failed in specific obligations a claim may not be successful.
The types of legal malpractice cases taken on at Wallace Wason, PLLC typically involve a lawyer’s failure to file suit within the time allowed by law (i.e. within the relevant statute of limitations), or failure to meet other deadlines or requirements in a case (such as proper service of documents or failing to respond to discovery).
Legal Malpractice Claim Elements
Let’s explore who should consider a legal malpractice case evaluation and the key factors to consider.
Duty of Care
First, it must be established that you engaged the attorney to represent you, whether by signing a written agreement or otherwise. Engaging the attorney establishes a duty of care for your case. If you cannot show that you were legally represented by an attorney, you will not be able to prove that he or she had a duty of care to file for you.
What Errors Can Constitute Malpractice?
If your lawyer failed to take necessary action to represent you, to investigate the facts of your case, to obtain necessary documents or evidence, failed to make filings as required, or missed a required deadline, you might have a valid claim.
Damages or Losses
For a legal malpractice claim to be viable, you must have suffered damages or losses as a result of your attorney’s negligence. Such damages can include loss or forfeiture of financial assets, lost financial or other opportunities (including inability to pursue a valid legal claim), legal fees incurred to rectify the lawyer’s mistakes, and more. Non-economic damages, such as loss of custody or visitation rights, emotional distress, or harm to your reputation, can also be considered.
Establishing that the cause of your harm was the lawyer’s actions or inaction is essential in a legal malpractice claim. You must show that your attorney’s negligence directly caused the damages or losses you suffered. Such proof often involves identifying relevant documentation and witness statements or testimony.
Statute of Limitations
As with any legal claim, it’s crucial to be aware of the statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims in your jurisdiction. The statute of limitations sets a time limit within which you must file your claim for legal malpractice. Failing to meet this deadline may result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. Your first step should be to consult with a legal malpractice attorney to identify and ensure you will be able adhere to all necessary deadlines.
Free Legal Malpractice Case Evaluation
In light of the complexities discussed above, it’s advisable to be sure that the attorney you consult has experience in legal malpractice claims. These attorneys will gather the information necessary to assess the events in question and guide you through the process of deciding whether and how you should proceed.
Attorneys at Wallace Wason, PLLC have this experience. If your lawyer’s failure has caused you harm or financial losses, contact us for an evaluation of your potential legal malpractice claim. Our skilled intake team can evaluate the specifics of your situation and get started so that we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Remember, holding negligent lawyers accountable not only protects your interests but also upholds the integrity of the legal profession.