Trust is one of the most important elements of the attorney/client relationship. When hiring a legal professional, the last thing you should ever have to worry about is whether your lawyer is conducting themselves in a professional and ethical manner. Unfortunately, far too many people in South Florida have become the victims of legal malpractice. The consequences can often be devastating. But legal malpractice does not necessarily mean an attorney is intentionally breaking the law or conducting themselves in an unethical manner. In many cases, it often involves common errors that can lead to negligence.
Types of Legal Malpractice
There are several different types of legal malpractice. Over the years, the American Bar Association has cataloged the most common types based on lawsuits and insurance claims. They include:
- Failure to know or apply the law
- Failure to meet deadlines
- Planning errors
- Failure to file documents
- Inadequate investigation/discovery
Failure to Know or Apply The Law
The most common example of legal malpractice involves the attorney’s failure to know or apply the law. According to the American Bar Association, these errors make up approximately 11.3 percent of all legal malpractice claims. In many of these cases, the attorney may have overlooked or did not properly understand a specific law or statute. Because most clients do not properly understand the legal process, they depend on their attorneys to provide sound and knowledgeable advice. But when a lawyer fails to properly know or apply the law, it can result in significant damages for the client.
Failure to Meet Deadlines
An attorney’s failure to meet deadlines can be extremely detrimental to a client’s case. In addition to meeting deadlines, attorneys and their legal staffs are responsible for making appointments for important hearings and submitting documents.
When it comes to the legal profession, there is no such thing as a sure thing. Whether you have consulted or worked with a family law attorney, criminal law attorney or personal injury attorney, it is the responsibility of the legal professional to plan effectively for every possible and reasonable outcome. For example, if a tax attorney gave advice to a client that resulted in an IRS tax audit, the client is entitled to seek action for legal malpractice.
Failure to File Documents
Regardless of the type of attorney, filing important documents for the client is a crucial component of the legal process. Not only must legal documentation be filed accurately, it must also make deadlines. Failure to do so is considered a breach of contract.
Inadequate Discovery and Investigation
All attorneys have a responsibility to properly research and conduct investigations on behalf of their clients. These investigations are crucial to uncover any pertaining information for a given case. If a legal professional fails to uncover information that resulted in damages, the client is entitled to seek action legal malpractice.
Protecting the Rights of Legal Malpractice Victims in Cooper City
Countless people throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have received poor legal advice or representation due to negligence by their attorneys. It can make anyone feel powerless. But there are solutions. Cooper City legal malpractice attorney Bradley S. Hartman has been protecting the rights of victims for more than 30 years. He and his legal staff utilize a personable and comprehensive approach to help place each client in the best position to succeed. If you have been the victim of legal malpractice in South Florida, contact the Cooper City Law Office of Bradley S. Hartman and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.