Schwartz & Ponterio, PLLC holds lawyers responsible for legal malpractice.

Understanding negligence in a legal malpractice claim

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Legal Malpractice

It requires substantial trust to place your legal matter in the hands of someone you may have just met. Yet, that is what usually happens when you hire an attorney to represent you after suffering physical injuries or other harm.

If they fail to provide the level of representation reasonably expected in similar cases, your issue could go unresolved or even worsen. Since negligence is a common form of legal malpractice and may be a factor in your case, make sure you understand what it means.

What are the elements of negligence?

You must first show that you and the lawyer had developed an attorney-client relationship to pursue a legal malpractice claim. For example, you can submit a written agreement signed by you and the lawyer.

From there, you must demonstrate that the other party acted negligently by proving these elements:

  • Duty: Your attorney owed you a duty of care.
  • Breach: They breached that duty by failing to provide competent and professional legal services.
  • Causation: That breach of duty caused you to suffer damages.
  • Damages: You suffered actual damages due to the attorney’s negligence.

Common examples of attorney negligence include not filing court documents on time, regularly missing deadlines and failing to communicate with clients.

How challenging is a legal malpractice claim?

The main difference between legal malpractice and other negligence claims is that the defendant is a legal professional with an arsenal of strategies. You can expect them to create a powerful defense, but that does not mean you cannot find justice.

Consider obtaining guidance from someone who understands the nuances of New York negligence laws and the possible defense tactics you may face. Do not let one poor attorney experience keep you from using legal guidance to help you with your case.