Often, an attorney’s biggest fear is facing a malpractice claim. Numerous elements are involved, and it can be challenging to prove either side. When filing a malpractice claim, the claimant must prove the following:
- The existence of an attorney-client relationship.
- A breach of the lawyer’s duty to the client.
- Facts constituting the alleged negligence.
- The breach of duty caused damages to the client: “But for the lawyer’s conduct, the client would have succeeded in the underlying action.”
The most challenging elements to prove in a malpractice claim are the causes and damages. First, the client must be able to prove that their attorney’s error was the reason for their unsuccessful case. After this is confirmed, they must provide evidence of the damages or successes they could have won if it were not for the attorney’s error. Sometimes, clients attempt to use these excuses as defense:
- The client lost their lawsuit.
- The client did not respond to calls and emails.
- The client discovers their attorney is friends with opposing counsel.
None of these avenues are reason enough for a client to begin a legal malpractice claim. Although many clients believe they are, there must be more evidence of negligence. It is important to remember that even if something goes wrong in a legal case, that does not mean the client necessarily has the terms to file a legal malpractice claim. Malpractice claims are a hassle for the attorney and the client. If you are fearful that a particular situation may lead to a malpractice claim, please do not hesitate to reach out to our WILMIC team at (800) 373-3839.