Legal Malpractice - Online Lawyer Source
Posted by Legal Malpractice on 5/02/06
Legal malpractice is defined as any negligent or wrongful
act committed by an attorney that causes damages to his or
her client. Legal malpractice can occur in any area of the
law including medical malpractice law. Twenty five percent
of legal malpractice cases occur in personal injury cases.
A legal malpractice lawsuit is brought against a negligent
lawyer by the victim (the client) to receive compensation
for the damages caused by the legal malpractice.
Approximately 35,000 people are the victims of legal
malpractice every year.
There are many situations in a legal case where legal
malpractice harms a client. The following circumstances
may be cases of legal malpractice: a case is dismissed
because the lawyer failed to properly pursue the case; the
attorney failed to secure witnesses and experts for the
case; s/he failed to act before a statute of limitations
or calendar deadline; s/he forced settlement in a case for
any reason that unjustly harmed the client; and any other
failures or errors that result in client damages.
In a legal malpractice case, there are three things that
must be proved in the lawsuit in order to receive
compensation for injuries sustained. First, the lawyer-
client relationship has to be established. Most often a
fiduciary relationship exists between the lawyer and the
client requiring the lawyer to provide a minimum standard
of service. Second, the damages that a victim has suffered
as a result of legal malpractice must be presented and
proven. Lastly, these damages must be the proven result of
Malpractice insurance can greatly affect the outcome of a
legal malpractice lawsuit. As a general rule, legal
professionals are not required to obtain legal malpractice
insurance. Statistics show that approximately sixty
percent of attorneys have legal malpractice insurance. Of
these lawyers who do have insurance, some may not cover
some forms of legal malpractice such as fraud theft or
willful injury. If a lawyer does not have legal
malpractice insurance, it is possible that the victim will
have no legal recourse. In any case, a professional lawyer
should be consulted who can advise you of your legal
rights and options in a legal malpractice case.
If there is legal malpractice insurance, the insurance
company will most likely be the one to negotiate
compensation for injured victims. When a legal malpractice
case is filed, the insurance company will designate a law
firm to represent the defendant in the lawsuit and the
insurance company will allocate money should the case be
judged in favor of the victim.
It is important in legal malpractice cases to be
represented by qualified, experienced and honest attorneys
who can help build a strong case and receive reasonable
compensation for the victim. For more information on legal
malpractice, please contact us to confer with an attorney.