If your former attorney’s negligence brought you harm or a less favorable outcome in a recent case, you might have grounds to sue for professional negligence.
Filing a lawsuit against a former attorney is not something to take lightly. You should consider the following things before contacting a negligence lawyer in Haines City, Florida to bring a legal malpractice case against your former attorney.
What is the Standard of Care?
Your lawyer is not required to win your case. They must, however, ensure a high standard of care.
The “standard of care” is often defined as the degree and type of care that a professional attorney — with a similar background and practicing in the same community — would have delivered under the circumstances that led to the alleged legal malpractice.
Examples of Legal Malpractice
A decision made by a lawyer must be evaluated at the time it was made, as most decisions are made without the benefit of hindsight. In other words, it’s important to consider what the attorney knew or should have known at the time. At O’Toole Law Group, we often see the following mistakes made by lawyers:
- Billing incorrectly
- Missing deadlines
- Failing to communicate effectively with the client
- Settling a case without the client’s consent
- Giving wrong or misguided legal counsel
- Being responsible for the theft or loss of money or property belonging to the client
- Inadequately drafted legal papers that do not protect your rights
- Failing to file a case before the statute of limitations has expired
- Taking on a case despite a potential conflict of interest
If your Haines City lawyer made these or other mistakes, a basis for suing them for professional negligence might exist.
Have You Suffered Financial Loss or Injury?
It is not enough to say your lawyer messed up to have a successful legal malpractice lawsuit — you must have suffered financial loss and/or injury as well.
For example, let’s assume that your attorney missed a deadline in your auto accident case, resulting in the dismissal of your claim. You would have been entitled to seek compensation for your injuries had your lawyer correctly filed the paperwork on time. In a legal malpractice claim, you can seek the compensation you would have been awarded had your lawyer not been negligent in their professional duties.
What Do You Need to Prove?
Proving a legal malpractice claim in Haines City is complex, and it varies from case to case. Here are four elements that must be present to establish negligence:
- Duty: The attorney owed you a duty of care.
- Breach: In your representation, the attorney did not uphold their duty of care.
- Causality: Your financial loss or injury is directly related to the breached duty of care.
- Damages: In a malpractice claim, damages are calculated based on what was recovered and what would have been recovered had the attorney not been negligent.
Speak with a Negligence Lawyer in Haines City, Florida
As the top-rated negligence lawyers in Haines City, Florida, our team understands how difficult it can be when a negligent lawyer fails to provide you with the standard of care expected in the legal profession. If you suspect that your lawyer’s negligence caused you major financial loss, we are here to help. Our law firm is committed to protecting your rights and providing you with the level of care you deserve.
To find out if you have a valid legal malpractice claim against a former attorney, contact us online or call our office at (863) 533 5525.