When you hire an attorney to represent you, it’s common to put your full trust in them. Not only are they the professional, but you’re also paying them for their service.
Even if you do your homework before hiring an attorney, you could still be the victim of legal malpractice. If that happens, you’ll find yourself dealing with your original case, as well as your newfound issue.
Understanding the most common types of legal malpractice cases can help protect you from trouble. Here are just a few to keep an eye on:
- Billing and fee agreements: This is something you should agree to up front, as it will eliminate all gray area as your case proceeds. A written fee agreement, which also outlines billing procedures, will give you a clear idea of what to expect and whether your attorney has violated the terms and conditions.
- Poor communication: There are no laws in place that govern how and when an attorney should communicate with clients. However, poor communication or a failure to communicate can result in a legal malpractice claim. For instance, if your attorney agrees to a settlement without your permission, you may have no choice but to file a legal malpractice claim against them.
- Conflict of interest: There is more than one form of conflict of interest, but they all impact you. A common example is an attorney who is representing both sides in a case.
- Missed deadlines: There are deadlines and statutes of limitations associated with almost every legal claim. You expect your attorney to understand and meet these deadlines. Missing a deadline could result in the court throwing out your case, thus leading you to miss out on compensation you deserve.
If you suspect legal malpractice on the part of your attorney, start by collecting additional information and asking questions. You may be able to find a resolution without taking your case to court.
But if your attorney fights back, perhaps by stating that you were in the wrong, it’s time to learn more about your legal rights in New York. Legal action is often the only way to get back on track so you can once again focus your attention on your case.