FAQ: Legal Malpractice
For businesses as well as individuals in Illinois, Florida, or California facing legal challenges, the choice to place their trust in the hands of an attorney or law firm is a significant decision that can have serious, lasting consequences. If the attorney failed to take appropriate action given the facts of the case, the lawyer may be guilty of legal malpractice.
Understanding Legal Malpractice
These cases are incredibly complex and can cover a broad spectrum of incidents. Furthermore, few firms handle these types of claims. At Konicek & Dillon, P.C., we have the legal skill; experience and insight to help victims of legal malpractice hold negligent attorneys accountable. We have recovered millions for plaintiffs in legal malpractice cases involving breach of fiduciary duty, failure to meet deadlines, conflicts of interest and failing to advise of risks.
Below are a few questions we commonly hear from our clients regarding legal malpractice cases. These questions are followed by general answers. We encourage you to reach out to our firm for specific, comprehensive answers to your questions.
What constitutes legal malpractice?
This can be difficult to define in the abstract. However, in general, if your attorney made an error that should have and could have been prevented, you may have a claim for legal malpractice. In most cases, an error on the part of an attorney results in significant financial losses. Of course, not all errors result in damages and not all mistakes constitute legal malpractice. By working with you, we can review the circumstances of your case and outline whether you have a legal malpractice claim. If your attorney did something he or she should not have done, or if your lawyer did not do something that he or she should have done, it could be legal malpractice. A mistake or error alone is not enough. There must be damages to you, the client or intended beneficiary of the lawyer’s work, for the mistake to be legal malpractice.
What kinds of damages am I entitled to in a legal malpractice suit?
Legal malpractice cases attempt to put you where you would have been if the mistake had not occurred. You may be entitled to damages for a benefit you lost or did not obtain because of a lawyer’s mistake. Or you may be entitled to damages for an amount of money you lost or had to pay because of your attorney’s mistake. You may be entitled to recover the damages you should have received in your underlying case (such as a car accident or breach of contract case) had your attorney not acted negligently.
What if my damages are only a few thousand dollars?
Lawyer malpractice cases are time-consuming, complex cases that involve serious time commitments and expense. Therefore, it often is not economically feasible to pursue legal malpractice claims where the damages, although real, are minimal or limited.
What are some common causes of legal malpractice?
Errors that can result in legal malpractice claims include:
- Not disclosing a conflict of interest
- Missing a statute of limitations
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Failing to properly advise
We can explain these issues as they apply to your individual case.
What does it mean when people say legal malpractice cases are “backward looking”?
Essentially, these types of cases are particularly complex because juries are asked to look not only at the facts of what happened, but also at what would have happened if it had not been for the mistakes made by the attorney. As your attorneys, we know how the unique perspective of lawyer malpractice cases affects your case and how to make it work best for you.
Contact Us and Let Us Help You Resolve Your Legal Malpractice Case
To schedule a consultation, call 630-313-2071 to reach our Geneva law office or 312-239-0283 to reach our Chicago office. If you prefer to reach us via email, take a moment to complete our online contact form.