When you hire an attorney to represent you in negotiations or litigation, you rely on the legal counsel that they provide. You also expect them to do the most that they can to fight for your case and your rights. An attorney who makes mistakes can be disappointing, but an attorney who engages in misconduct or negligence can completely ruin your case and your ability to pursue justice. An attorney can be negligent or incompetent with your case, such as by failing to follow procedure, missing a statute of limitations or filing deadline, or otherwise failing to uphold their duty of care when working on your case.
When this happens, you suffer damages and losses from both the initial case that you hired an attorney for and from the actions of your attorney. This is unacceptable, and you can hold your attorney accountable. If you believe that you have an attorney malpractice claim, you can file against the offending attorney for the damages done to you. Although it may seem like a contradiction, an attorney is your greatest chance to succeed in a legal malpractice claim. It’s essential that you find an attorney who you feel you can trust to represent you in this case while effectively defending your rights and getting you the compensation you deserve.
It’s not easy to begin looking for legal representation after being a victim of legal malpractice. You should know that many attorneys work hard to uphold their standard of duty of care as they diligently fight for their client’s rights and interests.
At the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, we believe in fighting for you. Our attorney and team believe in diligent, compassionate, and effective legal counsel. You deserve financial compensation for your damages, and we want to give you the greatest shot to secure it. If you have been a victim of legal malpractice or attorney negligence in Charlotte or the surrounding community, we can help. Our firm has more than 20 years of experience in complex legal litigation. We focus on our clients and listen to your unique situation. We believe in client-focused care to provide you with the greatest standard of legal care possible.
When an attorney fails to uphold their duty of care toward their client to a reasonable standard, there may be a reason for a legal malpractice case. If a reasonable attorney would have acted the same way in the same circumstances, a legal malpractice case may be harder to prove.
An attorney may be considered negligent or incompetent for actions such as:
Not every failure by an attorney can be considered legal malpractice. An attorney who doesn’t pick up a phone call is not committing legal malpractice. Actions like failure to communicate with a client are only malpractice if they can be considered negligent by a reasonable attorney and they caused the failure of the case or some other clear loss.
Legal malpractice may include actions of incompetence or malicious acts of fraud. When an attorney fails to uphold their duty of care, the client may be in a worse position legally and economically than they were at the beginning of the claim. This may constitute a legal malpractice claim against that attorney.
In a legal malpractice claim, you and your attorney have the burden of proof to show that your attorney committed malpractice. To establish a legal malpractice claim, the following has to be proven:
Disliking the outcome of your case, losing your case, or otherwise dealing with fallout from your case does not automatically mean that you have a legal malpractice case. Your lawyer must have committed an act of negligence or incompetence. The attorney could also have breached your contract or the rules of professional conduct set by the American Bar Association.
Those who have dealt with legal malpractice may have reservations about working with another attorney for a claim. An attorney is an important asset when filing a legal malpractice claim. It is essential that you get the compensation that you deserve for the harm done to you. The most effective way to maximize the amount that you can receive is with a qualified attorney advocating for you and your interests.
When you are dealing with financial and emotional damages from your initial case and from legal malpractice, it can be hard to handle another case by yourself. By working with an attorney, you are saving yourself time and stress. An attorney can review your circumstances and determine if you have a legal malpractice case. If you do, they can begin building a strategy to advocate for your rights. Your attorney can gather evidence, interview expert witnesses, and help prove the legal negligence that you suffered. They can walk you through the process and find the most ideal outcome.
The statute of limitations for a legal malpractice claim under North Carolina statutes is 3 years. Malpractice claims of any type can be made against a professional who has:
This includes legal malpractice claims and medical malpractice claims. The claim has to be filed within 3 years after the most recent negligent, incompetent, or malicious action by the professional.
If a client was unaware of the negligent actions, the statute changes. If they find out or should have found out about the actions 2 or more years after the event occurred, they have 1 year to file the claim. However, a claim cannot be filed more than 4 years after the most recent instance of malpractice.
Filing a claim within the statute of limitations is essential to having a valid case. Although 3 years may seem like enough time to take care of a claim, it’s important to begin working with an attorney on your legal malpractice claim sooner rather than later. This gives them plenty of time to begin building your case and ensures that no essential evidence is lost.
To prove legal malpractice, you must prove the elements of duty of care, negligence, causation, and damages.
Showing that an attorney owed you a duty of care means showing that there was an attorney-client relationship. Attorney-client contracts or correspondence between parties are useful to show that such a relationship existed.
Negligence is an essential part of any personal injury or malpractice case. To prove that an attorney acted negligently, you have to prove that no reasonable attorney would have acted the same way in that case. Expert witnesses are useful in this situation.
To prove causation in a legal malpractice case, you have to prove that the attorney’s negligent, careless, or incompetent actions caused you financial or economic harm. This includes failing to win a case because of their actions. You may also have to prove that, if the attorney had followed the code of professional conduct, the case would have succeeded.
If you believe that your attorney was negligent or incompetent while handling your case, it’s essential to save correspondence with that attorney and any documentation of the case that you have. This can be essential evidence to prove your case. Finding the additional necessary evidence to prove that your previous attorney committed legal malpractice is made much easier with an experienced and diligent attorney.
It is unacceptable for an attorney to breach their duty of care to a client. If you have suffered legal or economic damages because of your attorney’s failure to advocate for you, you can file a claim against them. At the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, we believe in fighting for the compensation that you deserve. We are proud to stand for the justice of those harmed by incompetent and negligent attorneys. We have years of experience helping those who have been harmed by attorneys while trying to pursue cases.
Our team can listen to your unique situation and walk you through your legal options based on the merits of your case. We can provide you with personalized legal care to our greatest ability. If you believe that you have a legal malpractice case in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Tatum Law Firm, PLLC, can help you. Contact our team today.