Do I Have A Legal Malpractice Claim?
Legal malpractice is what happens when your attorney fails to provide you, as his client, with competent legal representation. This failure may be a negligent mistake or could be an act of malicious intent against you. Legal malpractice claims require more than just an accusation from you. In order to have a valid legal malpractice case, you and your Evangeline Parish, LA malpractice attorney must prove four factors:
- You must show that the attorney committed to the duty of providing you with his or her competent legal representation. The fact that you had a consultation, whether free or paid for, with a lawyer alone is not enough. A signed contract or a receipt for a retainer fee is needed to prove that the lawyer owed you a duty of care.
- You must prove that he or she went on to breach that duty of care. Attorneys are required to exercise the same level of care that any other competent attorney in the area would provide in a similar situation. If a reasonable attorney would not use the same strategy this one did, there may have been a breach of duty and this can amount to negligence.
- You must prove causation. Your attorney just making a mistake in your case does not automatically mean he or she was negligen. Was there real damage done as a result? To be compensated for legal malpractice damages, you must prove that if your attorney had met his or her duty of care, you would have won your case and avoided damages. If your attorney did breach his duty of care but you would have lost your case anyway, you will not be awarded any damages.
- You have to show the court not only that your attorney was negligent and therefore caused you to lose your case, but that you also suffered a measurable financial loss as a result. You may separately choose to report your attorney’s actions to the State Bar. This could result in sanctions or even his or her disbarment.
I’ve Already Signed A Fee Agreement. Is It Too Late To Fire My Lawyer?
A fee agreement cannot take away your right to fire your attorney if you are not satisfied with his or her work. Even if the fee agreement says otherwise, it is your right, as a client. Do keep in mind, however, that your attorney is entitled to fight back if he or she believes that you did not have good cause in terminating their services.
What If I Fire My Attorney Without Good Cause?
If a judge finds that you did not have good cause to fire your attorney, then you may have to pay for the services that you did receive before you fired them, at a minimum. It is possible that he or she could recover the full amount owed and you may find yourself with two attorneys to pay.
What Does It Mean For A Jury To Be “Backward Looking”?
In a legal malpractice case, the jury is instructed to consider not just the facts of what happened in your underlying case, but also what would have happened in it, if your attorney hadn’t made an error. An experienced Evangeline Parish legal malpractice attorney will be incredibly useful in explaining how your underlying case affects your malpractice case to a Louisiana jury.
Is Every Lawyer In Louisiana Required To Have Professional Liability Insurance?
It is not a requirement, in Louisiana, for attorneys to carry professional liability insurance. The lack of an insurance policy might not interfere with a client’s right to file or even win a legal malpractice case. It can, however, cause a big problem when it comes time to collect. Your Evangeline Parish legal malpractice attorney can assist you in determining the realistic collectability of your claim.
Does The Fact That My Lawyer Has Liability Insurance Mean That My Claim Will Be Covered?
Unfortunately, not all instances of legal malpractice are able to be covered by all professional liability insurance policies.
What Kind Of Damages Can I Ask For In A Legal Malpractice Suit In Louisiana?
The ultimate goal of any legal malpractice case is to restore you to where you would be if no mistake had ever been made by your lawyer. You may be entitled to damages for some kind of lost benefit, monetary or otherwise, that you were unable to obtain because of your lawyer’s mistake. You could be entitled to compensation for any money you had to pay due to the mistake. You might even be entitled to recover the same damages you should have been granted in your original Evangeline Parish case. A knowledgeable legal malpractice attorney can assist you in deciding what kind of damages to ask for.
If My Damages Are Only A Couple Of Thousand Dollars, Is It Even Worth It To File A Malpractice Case?
A legal malpractice case is time-consuming and expensive. They require the assistance of a legal malpractice attorney. It is not recommended to pursue a legal malpractice claim in Evangeline Parish, LA if the damages involved are limited.
Evangeline Parish legal malpractice attorney, Tommy Pittenger, at Pittenger Law Firm, has been fighting against legal malpractice for over twenty years. He has a long, proven track record of winning fair verdicts for his clients. Not only is Legal Malpractice Attorney Pettinger committed to helping those who have suffered due to legal malpractice in the Evangeline Parish area, he is also fully dedicated to giving back to his local community. Pittenger Law Firm is committed to donating 10% of its net profits locally every single year.
If you believe that you’ve been wronged by an attorney and that you would have prevailed in a civil or a criminal case, if it had not been for your lawyer’s failed representation, please don’t hesitate to contact a legal malpractice attorney like Tommy Pittenger. You can and should be compensated for the damage you have suffered. Call Pittenger Law Firm today to speak to an Evangeline Parish legal malpractice attorney.
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