Legal malpractice occurs when a lawyer fails to render competent professional service to a client and the client is damaged as a result of the failure. The three major theories of liability are negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract. One of the most common forms of legal malpractice is missing the statute of limitations, which will stop a case in its tracks. Regardless of what form it took, legal malpractice is not acceptable and lawyers need to be held accountable when their actions harm their clients. To prove malpractice, i.e., to establish your lawyer’s liability, you must prove that your lawyer owed you a duty to represent you competently, that he or she made a mistake or otherwise breached the duty owed to you, and that your lawyer’s mistake harmed you, causing you damages.
Nobody is perfect and professionals are no exception. It’s a shame, but sometimes mistakes are made that are so damaging that a client’s case is seriously damaged or completely lost. In these circumstances, a legal malpractice claim may be the best (and only) remedy for the wronged client.
At Westmoreland Vesper Quattrone & Beers, we understand both sides of these issues. As lawyers, we understand how difficult and complex practicing law can be. But as strong advocates for our clients, we understand the important responsibility a lawyer has to put the best interest of his or her client first.
Professional malpractice: Licensed professionals such as accountants, engineers, real estate agents, insurance agents, and numerous other professionals owe a standard of care to the clients they are paid to represent. If a client is harmed by a professional’s negligence in meeting that standard of care, the client may be entitled to compensation.
Medical malpractice is the term used to describe the legal action against a medical professional whose conduct has been alleged to be negligent. The medical professional’s conduct is measured by comparing his or her performance to the “standard of care”. The standard of care is typically defined as that level of competence that would be expected of a physician of average skill and ability practicing within the same specialty as the defendant. If the defendant physician does something the average practitioner in the same field of medicine would not have done, or if the defendant physician fails to do something the average practitioner in the same field of medicine would have done, that physician is said to have deviated from the standard of care, i.e. acted negligently.
If you or a family member has been injured, due to the negligence of others, please fill out our Contact Form or call us at 609-645-1111 to learn more. We would be happy to arrange for a confidential free consultation.