Some wrongs in life are relatively straightforward. Injured in a car accident when the other driver was speeding or driving dangerously? It’s pretty clear that the driver was responsible. Slip and fall because a store failed to clean up a spill or fix a rip in the carpet? The owners were likely negligent. But what happens when you think you lost a case because your lawyer did not do their job?
What is legal malpractice?
Legal malpractice is not always as easily apparent as with the other cases discussed above. A legal malpractice case attempts to establish that if the attorney had done their job the client would have won their case. As a result, in order to build a successful legal malpractice claim, the client needs to establish two things:
- Their attorney messed up; and
- They would have won the underlying case.
This means a legal malpractice case is basically two cases in one.
How do I build a case?
These are complex cases and those who believe they are the victim of legal malpractice will generally need to find legal counsel to help build a claim. These cases often require specific elements for a court to rule in the victim’s favor. This often includes expert testimony to establish the attorney failed to provide adequate counsel.
How do these cases work?
In addition to the need for expert testimony, these cases can also commonly involve a failure of the legal counsel to meet a deadline, a conflict of interest, or inadequate preparation. If successful, the victim can get monetary compensation to help cover the cost loss from the underlying case.
Those who believe they are the victim of legal malpractice are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney experienced in this niche area of the law can review your case and discuss your options. This will better help to ensure you have all the information you need to determine the right course of action in your specific situation.