Can You Sue A Lawyer For Negligence?

sue lawyer for negligence

The lawyers have to take care of the work of their clients, like other professionals. 

It may be possible that your lawyer will make a mistake from time to time. And if something happens like this and your lawyer show negligence in the representation of your case then you should claim for malpractice.

If your lawyer’s negligence harms you, loses your case, gives bad settlement outcomes, or financial breakdown in your case, then you have to claim to sue your lawyer for professional negligence.

Even it is difficult to file a malpractice case against a negligent lawyer, and also the cases may be different.

sue lawyer for negligence

What is the established standard of care?

For lawyers, it is not mandatory to be perfect or to win the case. But it is important to follow the rules, use their smart skills, diligence, and the same care that is used by the other lawyers in his field under similar circumstances.  A negligent lawyer, he loses the case, and also he fails in upholding this requirement. And because of this he will never get the success that affects his client’s case too and gives them wrong results.

And when the negligent lawyer falls down this standard of the case, they have to commit legal malpractice.

What are some examples of legal malpractice?

Malpractice cases are very fact-specific and also depend on the specific circumstances of your case. 

Whenever the attorney’s decision is made it will be analyzed at the same time. These decisions are rarely made with the benefit of hindsight. There are a lot of things that depend on what the lawyer knew and what should have known.

Although, we see a lot of common mistakes that the lawyers make again and again, and that includes:

  1. The billing is not accurate.
  2. Deadlines are missed.
  3. They fail to communicate with their client.
  4. Without the client’s contest settles the lawsuit.
  5. Gives inaccurate legal advice.
  6. He will steal or lose money or property that belongs to the client.
  7. He will incompetently draft the legal documents that do not protect your legal rights.
  8. Failing to file the case related documents before the expiration of the statute of limitation.
  9. Taking the case despite an existing conflict of interest.

A basis for suing a lawyer for professional negligence may exist if these or other mistakes are made by him.


Have I suffered from an injury?

If you successfully file a case of malpractice against your lawyer, it doesn’t mean that your lawyer screwed up. Additionally, you also have to suffer from damages.

Most, the clients who file a case of malpractice against their lawyer, they have to face financial losses as a result of legal malpractice.

For example, if your case is of a car accident and your lawyer doesn’t submit all the relevant information and documents in the court before their deadlines that lead to your case to dismiss. If your lawyer submits all the related documents and information in the court on time then you can be able to get all the insurance money for the physical injuries you get in the accident. In a legal malpractice lawsuit, you can ask for the compensation that you would have received but your lawyer’s professional negligence.

You can realize that the courts never make a joke of the legal malpractice cases just to tell the lawyers that they are not good at their job. Even you can file a complaint at your state’s grievance committee if your lawyer shows negligence in your case and is unethical. 

You can also call the police for an investigation if you think that your lawyer has done any crime.


What do I have to prove?

The setup for the malpractice case is may be complex and also it varies from case to case. Some criteria establish a negligence claim:


The existence of the client-lawyer relationship establishes the duty of care.

Generally, a written or verbal agreement between the parties exhibits the lawyer-client relationship. An attorney needs the duty of care like other lawyers to use the skills, diligence, in the same community, and the same circumstances. If you are going to sue a lawyer for professional negligence it may require an expert witness to determine what standard of care is determined in your case.


A breach occurs only when the lawyer fails to exercise reasonable care in your representation.

For instance, if the standard of care includes filing pleadings on time and your attorney forgets the important deadlines of the case that means they will breach the standard of the care.


Damages in a negligence malpractice claim are quantified by what was covered or not and what would have been covered by the lawyer, but it all only for the lawyer’s negligence.

A typical example of negligence occurs only when the lawyer does not fulfill the requirement of the case before its deadline. And missing the deadline bars the client from filing a claim. If the client is going to file a malpractice case, then he has to prove that he will win the case if the documents are submitted before the deadlines. The proof of amount that they would have won in the case and a collectible judgment is required.


Proving that, but for the attorney’s negligence, you would have to obtain a more favorable settlement or results establishes causation. In other words, the loss you have to suffer from is must be directly from the lawyer’s negligence.

It is not important to win a case; you need an attorney, so the fact that you lost is not enough to establish causation. If the evidence in your case shows that you could also lose your case without the negligence of the lawyer, then it may take weaken your malpractice claim.


What evidence should I collect?

Before, you going for pursuing a legal malpractice case, you should have to collect together all the relevant documents and information.

Collect or record all the communication that you do with your lawyer and as well as all the information about the case that led you to hire the attorney in the first place.

For instance, if you ask your lawyer for drafting the marital separation agreement then you have to find your copy of the agreement. Besides, your lawyer has to maintain a separate copy for your entire file and also gives you notice before they destroy that file or agreement. If your case is of malpractice then should have to obtain your case or hire a new lawyer, who will your case file for you.

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