Malpractice is one type of personal injury law that covers many areas and is a civil claim. However, legal malpractice differs from other kinds such as medical malpractice. This is a malpractice claim against a legal professional that did not provide proper legal services.
Statute of Limitations
Legal malpractice has a statute of limitations like other civil law claims. The statute of limitations for a state such as California the time limit to file a lawsuit is a one-year. The statute of limitations can be found in Code Civ. Proc. Section 320.6(a) (2). Claims for the lack of proper representation not filed within this time limit will not be accepted by the court. Although in this state under the statute, it is subject to limitation under the “continuous representation” rule. This rule states that the statute of limitations begins to run at a time when the lawyer is no longer providing continuing representation for the case the alleged omission or wrongful act occurred. The code continues pointing out the action of fraud is separate from the civil claim.
Elements of Legal Malpractice
Four elements of a legal malpractice claim that must be present in order to bring a claim against an attorney for wrongdoing in legal representation include: duty, breach, causation and damages.
• The attorney owes a duty to the client to provide competent legal representation.
• The lawyer breached the duty by wrongdoing or carelessness.
• The attorney’s breach of duty resulted in harm or injury.
• The harm resulted in a financial loss.
The plaintiff filing this claim of legal malpractice attorney los angeles to be successful must prove the attorney made errors in your case. In proving, it must also show in the claim the case the lawyer provided representation otherwise would be successful if not for the mishandling of the case by the lawyer. The success of the case would have allowed you to collect compensation from the defendant.
Ways a Lawyer Violates Their Duty
The lawyer owes the client a duty to provide representation and if they violate this duty, it may be by ignoring your case and you. The case may have been thrown out of court because the lawyer mishandled the case by not filing documents or missing hearings. This may cause the judge to rule against your claim. This lawyer either settles the claim without the client or recommends settling for much less, than the damages involved in the claim. The lawyer has a personal or social relationship with the defendant in the case or their lawyer and divulges privileged client information. The client suspects the lawyer has used the client’s money for other purposes instead of their case.
Legal Malpractice Damages
In the malpractice claim against an attorney for improper representation is a civil lawsuit, and the damages awarded are compensatory. The award will not include any damages for emotional damages or punitive damages. When meeting the elements of the claim, and proven by the plaintiff in the malpractice case, they can be successful. The success in the ruling will win compensation for their damages.