Lawyers have an enormous responsibility to deliver honest and competent service to clients. Even the best lawyers do not win every single case they take, but lawyers have an obligation to provide quality work and to decline representation if they lack the time, competence, or motivation to deliver adequate service. When a lawyer makes inexcusable mistakes that cause a client to lose their case, the (former) client can bring a legal malpractice lawsuit against the offending attorney to recover damages. These claims are difficult to prove because a plaintiff must prove that they would have won their case but-for the attorney’s mistake. Unfortunately, clients who hire bad lawyers are often simply out of luck after they lose their case. Below are some of the ways that a bad attorney can kill your case.
According to a study conducted by the American Bar Association, situations where an attorney failed to meet a deadline for a client account for more than 17% of all legal malpractice claims in the United States. This makes missing deadlines far and away the number one cause of legal malpractice. Amazingly, in 6.6% of the legal malpractice cases included in the study, the lawyer allegedly did not even know about the deadline. Missing deadlines is particularly egregious because there is usually no way to undo the damage done. When it happens, the client simply misses out on their chance to present to the court whatever it was that was supposed to be filed.
A personal injury lawyer should be able to properly value a case and ensure that a client does not accept an unreasonable offer. You should expect your personal injury attorney to be able to persuasively argue your case to a court. They ought to be able to do the same thing when they discuss your case with the opposing party. A failure to effectively negotiate can result in a pitiful settlement agreement.
Failing to File the Right Motions or Evidence
In every case, there are key documents and key evidence that must be filed by a plaintiff at different stages of litigation. While all lawyers make strategic decisions about exactly what to file and when to file it, a bad lawyer will fail to present things to the court that would have helped win the case. That isn’t something any personal injury victim wants to happen.
Failing to Communicate
All lawyers in Georgia have an obligation to provide prompt and reasonable communication with clients. This means that lawyers must apprise clients of their legal options and make sure clients know about settlement offers. A failure to communicate with a client can result in mistrust, a deterioration of the attorney-client relationship, and can ultimately be a major detriment.
Don’t Risk Blowing Your Case, Call Williams Elleby
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby, work hard to deliver the best possible service to each of their clients, with the goal of maximizing compensation in every case. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, contact Williams Elleby, by calling 833-LEGALGA today.