In all professions, mistakes can and do happen. When working with lawyers, when does a mistake become negligence? Often, mistakes end in consequences, but this does not mean that you have a malpractice claim. To have a legal malpractice claim, you have to determine if the attorney was negligent.

A viable malpractice suit answers whether the attorney acted negligently. To act negligently, the attorney had to disregard the standard of care. Duty of care is your lawyer’s legal obligation to adhere to industry standards of reasonable care. If the lawyer made a mistake while practicing care, then he or she simply made a mistake. Another point to note is that you cannot sue for losing a case. This is not negligence unless the attorney did not file paperwork on time or did not make appearances in court.

To have a malpractice claim, damage is also a requirement. The attorney’s mistake has to harm the client. For instance, if an attorney forgets to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations and there is legal certainty that the client would win that case, he or she may sue for damages and the loss of compensation. Additionally, the damages have to be worth the cost of litigation.

When you file a malpractice claim, you are addressing the legal representation’s mistakes but also the underlying case. Litigation is expensive and you do have to prove that your lawyer acted negligently and failed to perform the correct standard of care.

The above article is meant to inform on legal malpractice. It is not legal advice.