There are many kinds of legal malpractice, and as someone seeking the help of an attorney, it’s important that you understand them and can recognize them when they occur. Legal malpractice impacts you as a client and could even affect your ability to have a successful lawsuit or claim.
There are three kinds of malpractice you can watch out for. These include failing to file documents by the deadlines, poor communication and conflicts of interest. Here’s a little more on each one and what to expect.
1. Failing to file or missing deadlines
With every kind of legal case, there are statutes of limitations that apply. These limitations place a time limit on your case, making it impossible to file after a certain length of time has passed. It’s significant if your attorney misses the statute of limitations filing deadline, because you will lose your right to make a claim. It’s a good idea to communicate with your attorney and verify that the documents have been submitted with time to spare.
2. Poor communication
Another problem is with poor communication. There is no reason that your attorney should not be in regular communication with you about your case. If you call and ask a question, you should get a response within a couple of business days. For the most part, attorneys respond relatively quickly, but some do become busy. As long as your messages are getting responses in a reasonable amount of time and addressing your concerns, there’s probably no problem. However, if you’re going weeks without hearing anything, it’s worth reaching out a second time.
3. Conflicts of interest
Another issue to watch out for is a conflict of interest. Your attorney may have a conflict of interest if they know the prosecution or defense in your case. They may have a conflict of interest if they would make money if you lost the case or would prefer you lose the case to protect the other party for some reason. When you hire an attorney, it’s always wise to ask if they are familiar with the other party. If so, they should refer you to another attorney.
These are just three of many types of legal malpractice that you should watch out for if you are hiring an attorney. Doing good background research will help you decide if the attorney you want to work with is the right one for your case.