Victimized by legal malpractice? Here's what you should know

You thought your case was relatively straightforward. You expected your attorney to file it with the court, and you waited day after day for information on a hearing date to arrive. After waiting several weeks and reaching out to your attorney for updates with no response, you finally go to the office and find out that your attorney forgot to file the documents until your most recent call. Now, you've wasted several weeks of your time trying to figure out what was going on, and the case has reached the statute of limitations.

Once you received the news that the case couldn't be heard, you knew you had to do something to make the negligent attorney pay for his actions. You want to file a claim against him directly, because you surely would have been awarded compensation for your injury claim if he'd filed it on time.

Cases like this aren't as uncommon as you may believe. Whether it's because an attorney is overworked or understaffed, there's no excuse for failing to file legal documents in a timely manner. Your attorney needs to make sure he takes care of you, as a client, and failing to file paperwork goes against his obligation to you.

What should you do to prove malpractice took place?

Start by looking at the standard of care the attorney should have used. If all other attorneys in the field would have filed your documents on time, which is likely, then your attorney failed to perform at an appropriate standard. You also need to show that you're suffering a loss as a result of this mistake. Additionally, the court wants to see you establish that you have an attorney-client relationship.

How can you trust an attorney after going through legal malpractice?

Of course, it is difficult to trust people after you've had your trust in them broken. It can be hard to trust anyone in the legal field at all, based on notorious stories we've all heard about unscrupulous lawyers who give the overwhelming majority of them a "bad name."

However, taking the time to do good research about a firm or individual attorney and seeking references can help. Meet any attorney you may wish to work with and get to know him or her during a consultation. Taking the time to do this can help you feel better about your choice and give you the peace of mind that this attorney has performed well for others in the past.

Malpractice is difficult to deal with, but you can get through it. Filing a new lawsuit could help you get back what you've lost.

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