Can I Automatically Sue For Legal Malpractice If My Attorney Made A Glaring Error?
Often, clients will review their former attorney’s actions with the full benefit of hindsight. However, to determine negligence, you must put yourself in the attorney’s shoes when his or her mistake happened. Decisions that felt reasonable at the time might now look foolish in hindsight. Attorneys are required to act consistently with the local community’s standard of care. Not every mistake rises to a breach of the duty of care.
Even when an attorney made a very obvious mistake, that mistake is required to have injured the client, if a legal malpractice case is to exist. One very standard example of negligence is an attorney failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. Even if this is considered an inexcusable error, it only gives rise to a legitimate legal malpractice claim if the client can prove to a legal certainty that he or she would have won the case in question, had it been filed in time. The client must also prove just how much money he or she would likely have won in the case, and that the judgment was actually collectible. Legal malpractice cases are considered to be rather expensive in comparison to other cases because you are basically litigating two cases at once. In addition to typical legal fees, you will nearly always need an expert to help establish that the attorney’s conduct indeed fell below the community’s standard of care.
What Are The Four Elements Of Negligence?
The elements that must be proven in a legal malpractice case are the same as those that must be proven in a negligence case:
- Duty of Care: a legal duty to use reasonable care in order to prevent others from suffering damages. Reasonable care requires acting as a reasonable person would act if he or she were in the same scenario. For example, drivers are expected to come to a complete stop at stop signs and use their turn signals when they are changing lanes. These are things that a reasonable person would do.
- Breach of the Duty of Care: failure to fulfill a duty of care that was owed in a situation where a personal injury resulted. A breach of duty of care can be a failure to prevent an injury to the plaintiff whom the defendant owed a duty of care to.
- Proximate Cause: you are required to establish that the breach of the duty of care was the primary reason for your injury. This means you have to be able to show a direct link between the defendant’s negligence and the injuries that you have suffered.
- Damages: the goal of a personal injury claim is to be awarded compensation for your damages. If there are no damages, there is no reason for a lawsuit.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Legal Malpractice Lawsuit In Louisiana?
Individuals who are considering filing legal malpractice suits against their negligent attorneys have to file their case within a time period that is specified by law. This is known as the statutes of limitations, which are essentially legal time limits in which to file different types of lawsuits. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for legal malpractice is only one year while a breach of contract lawsuit, for example, has 10 years under the Louisiana statute of limitations. This means that you only have one year to file your legal malpractice lawsuit against your attorney from the date of your discovery of the malpractice.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to scenarios where an attorney’s actions or lack of action may be considered legal malpractice in Louisiana. Fairly often, failing to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires is the scenario at hand. If an attorney has missed the statute of limitations for your case or has mishandled your case in any other way and you feel certain that his or her negligence affected the outcome of your case negatively and cause you to suffer damages, you need to contact a highly regarded Baton Rouge legal malpractice attorney for help right away.
For more information on Attorney Errors In A Legal Malpractice Case, a consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (225) 230-9300 today.
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