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What are the three main components of legal malpractice?

If you have suffered an unfavorable outcome in a case, you may wonder if there are any legal options available for you to pursue. It is important to note that losing a case may not automatically mean the lawyer becomes liable. You may need to find and submit evidence that the lawyer acted negligently.

In fact, the three components of legal malpractice closely resemble negligence in personal injury cases. They help determine when a mistake becomes a viable lawsuit.

1. Negligence

The American Bar Association recommends considering the incident that took place and whether the attorney made a mistake that anyone could make in his or her position. Did the person represent you to the best of his or her ability? Do you believe the professional exhausted every available option for your case?

2. Damage

If the attorney did act negligently, did the outcome of the case cause injury to the client. A common example of an attorney making a mistake that leads to damages is taking on a case outside of his or her practice area. For instance, a family law attorney may represent an ex-spouse accused of domestic violence with no criminal defense background. The client may end up behind bars.

3. Significance

If the damages amount to a minor inconvenience or less than $100, the court may not consider it significant enough. Significant injury may include serving time, paying large fines, missing the statute of limitations or having loans recalled. An expert witness may review the case to determine if the injury meets the criteria for significance.

All professionals make mistakes. Sometimes, these are honest mistakes that follow sincere efforts to win a case. However, far too often, attorneys may fail to protect your best interests in a court of law.