Legal Malpractice Attorney in Miami
When navigating the legal system it is important to ensure that you are being represented by a competent and knowledgeable lawyer who understands the issues of your case, and knows how to proceed with your best interests in mind.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know when an attorney has the right skills to successfully take on a case. When mistakes occur, it can greatly affect the outcome of a case, and reduce any compensation that may have been available had the attorney competently argued the case in the first place.
When a lawyer fails to perform as expected, a lawsuit for legal malpractice may be possible to recover compensation for the value of the lost claim. A legal malpractice attorney in Miami can help. The Schlacter Law team has the necessary experience to help evaluate when another attorney’s work was incompetent and will work hard to help you receive any compensation you deserve.
Why should you file a legal malpractice claim in Miami?
There are numerous reasons to file a malpractice claim. Some of the more common reasons include:
- Statute of limitation issues
- Procedural errors
- Poor communication
- A conflict of interest
- Breach of confidentiality
- Fee disputes
A statute of limitations is a time limit for filing a lawsuit in court. Failure to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations can result in a dismissal of a case. When a lawyer fails to file within the statute of limitations, they may be liable as a result, regardless of the reasons for their failure.
Procedural errors occur when a lawyer fails to handle important details surrounding a case. This might include a failure to attend important hearings, failing to deal with evidential issues appropriately, or failing to request important information.
Poor communication occurs when an attorney fails to inform a client of important and pertinent information during the litigation process. This might include a lawyer’s attempt to settle a case without first consulting a client. While inconvenient, simply failing to return a phone call may not rise to the level of legal malpractice as long as a lawyer is providing relevant and important information in a timely manner.
A conflict of interest exists when an attorney’s interests are counter to the interests of their client. When a lawyer is aware of such conflicts, it is his or her duty to disclose the conflict to all the parties involved. Failure to do so could hold the lawyer liable for legal malpractice. However, if an attorney discloses all conflicts of interest to all parties and keeps all parties aware of relevant facts and information, that alone might not rise to the level of a conflict of interest.
A breach of confidentiality occurs when a lawyer reveals important information that they have a duty to protect. According to the American Bar Association, a lawyer needs to receive informed consent from their client in order to reveal information pertaining to their case. Informed consent is when someone is given permission to do something even after they were made aware of the consequences, risks, and benefits of revealing that information. Failing to get informed consent before disclosing pertinent information may be cause for a legal malpractice suit against the lawyer who reveals the information.
Incompetence can be difficult to determine. In cases where a new attorney takes on a client and an issue beyond their area of expertise, there is a risk that they fail to possess the skills necessary to adequately represent their client. If a similar and reasonable attorney would never have made the same decisions, it may be determined that a lawyer is liable for legal malpractice.
Fee disputes are a common issue concerning legal malpractice. Common complaints from clients are high fees and unexpected charges. To protect an attorney from a fee dispute, an attorney should have a record of any work performed, and provide an invoice for the itemized cost of their services. These records should help a client evaluate if they were fairly charged for the work performed by their lawyer. Not all legal services are clearly defined, nor are fees always cut and dry. An estimate by an attorney at the start of the case may fail to take into consideration certain costs that arise further into the case. However, if the lawyer failed to inform their client of the costs, it is possible that they are liable for legal malpractice.
There are numerous reasons to file a legal malpractice case against an attorney. If you suspect a Miami lawyer failed in their duty to assist you, a case for compensation may be available. To evaluate a possible legal malpractice lawsuit, it is important to speak with a legal malpractice lawyer who has experience litigating legal malpractice cases. Call Schlacter Law today for an evaluation of the facts in your case.
When is an attorney liable?
Legal malpractice cases occur when a lawyer fails to exercise the proper duty of care. Failing to exercise the proper duty of care is considered a negligent act, and when a party is found negligent, a plaintiff may recover compensation.
In Florida, for a plaintiff to successfully prove an attorney’s negligence there are four essential elements necessary to recover compensation in a malpractice lawsuit. A plaintiff must show that:
- The attorney owed a duty to use prudence, skill, and diligence as another member of their profession would exercise under the same or similar circumstances
- The attorney breached this duty
- There is a connection between the breach of duty and an injury of some kind (even financial)
- There was an actual loss as a result of the attorney’s failure to exercise this duty
In cases where a lawyer’s negligence resulted in an actual loss to a client, compensation for those losses may be possible. To assist in determining the amount of damages sustained in a legal malpractice suit, a consultation with a Miami attorney malpractice lawyer may be necessary. A legal malpractice lawyer has the necessary experience to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a legal malpractice suit. When such conditions exist, a legal malpractice attorney will fight hard to get you the appropriate compensation.
Miami Statute of Limitations
When a dispute arises with an attorney, a lawsuit may be filed in court to seek compensation. Similar to any case filed in Florida, there is a limit on how long after a dispute occurs that a lawsuit can be filed in court.
Florida Statutes, § 95.11 (4)(a), limits the time to file a lawsuit in any professional malpractice lawsuit to two years. The time period runs “from the time the cause of action is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.”
There may be additional avenues to seek resolution when a dispute arises with an attorney in Miami. Arbitration and mediation have both parties sit with a neutral third-party in an attempt to come to an agreement that all parties can agree with. When seeking monetary compensation, arbitration and mediation can assist in getting compensation before having to take a claim to court.
When should you contact a legal malpractice attorney?
If you had a lawyer handle a case and you believe that a Miami attorney was negligent in the case’s handling, it may be time to speak with a legal malpractice defense attorney. Schlacter Law believes all lawyers should be held accountable for the work that they do.
In cases where a lawyer failed to file a lawsuit within the appropriate statute of limitations, committed serious procedural errors, breached confidentiality, or committed any other type of breach of duty between their client and the lawyer, we can help. From fee disputes to legal incompetence, a Miami legal malpractice attorney understands the issues involved in a malpractice lawsuit and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost to hire an attorney?
At Schlacter Law, we understand that dealing with lawyers can get expensive. If you’ve already hired an attorney and were dissatisfied with the result, we can help. Our contingency fee payment arrangement would mean we only get paid if we do our job well, costing you nothing to get things started. Call us today so we can evaluate if there is a claim and help you get the compensation you need.
What if my prior lawyer didn’t tell me he settled my case?
When an attorney makes takes a substantial step in your case without first consulting you, they may be liable for legal malpractice. It is a lawyer’s duty to keep you properly informed and discuss the ramifications of decisions such as settling a claim. If you feel you were inadequately informed of a decision made on your behalf you may be entitled to compensation. Start a consultation today so we can evaluate a possible claim.
What if my attorney’s law firm was also representing another party in my lawsuit?
A conflict of interest can be grounds for a legal malpractice lawsuit. Your attorney has a duty to let you know of any conflicts and get your informed consent before proceeding with representation. If your lawyer failed to let you know of a conflict, we may be able to help. Call us today for a consultation.