How To Sue An Attorney For Malpractice – When you hire a lawyer to help you with legal services, you are placing your trust in that lawyer and they will have your best interests in mind at all times. However, the attorney may intentionally or negligently violate that trust. Can you sue your attorney for malpractice? If so, what must be clear for you to do that?
Fortunately, Henderson Law can provide you with answers to these types of questions. In general, however, your attorney owes you a duty of care, and if he or she breaches that duty of care, you may be subject to a legal malpractice claim. Here’s a quick guide to what that process usually looks like.
How To Sue An Attorney For Malpractice
There are usually three (3) situations in which a client can sue their attorney for legal malpractice. For one thing, you could have a negligence lawsuit against them if they didn’t perform according to the applicable standard of care. You can also sue your former attorney for breach of contract with you. Finally, you have a fiduciary duty to the attorneys, and if they breach that duty, you can sue them for that breach.
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Negligence applies when an attorney does not handle your case competently. When you hire a lawyer, you can reasonably expect them to be qualified and knowledgeable enough to do the job. However, if they make mistakes during the process of managing your case or prove that they lack the skills to properly advocate for you, you can sue them. Errors can cause irreparable harm to your case, and to you personally. Here are some examples where attorney negligence can be a factor leading to legal malpractice.
Although these are common examples, there are many more possibilities. Lawyers are used for many reasons, and many types of cases can be damaged by lawyer negligence. Your attorney must at least be an adequate advocate for your cause. You cannot successfully make a claim against your ex-lawyer unless your lawyer acts in the same manner as a lawyer handling a similar case under the same circumstances. However, if they don’t meet those standards, you may have a good chance of having a case.
Breach of contract is another claim you may have against your former attorney. Generally, as a client, you sign a contract with a lawyer for their services. You may have heard it referred to as a retainer agreement or an engagement agreement. If your attorney doesn’t follow through on that side of the agreement, you may have a claim against them. Here are some common breaches of contract:
To succeed in a breach of contract lawsuit, you need to be clear about what your contract says and how it was breached. An experienced legal malpractice attorney at Henderson Law can help you with this and determine if you have a case.
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When you hire an attorney, the attorney must act in your best interests. If they fail to do so, they may be deemed to have breached their fiduciary duty. Your attorney can devise a strategy and negotiate on your behalf, but ultimately you must make the final decisions regarding your case. A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when your attorney makes a decision for you without your informed consent or pushes you to make a decision that is not in your best interest. For example:
As a customer, you are best equipped to decide what is in your best interests. If the lawyer breaches that duty, you may have a claim against them for breach of fiduciary duty.
Unless you’re a lawyer, it can be difficult to understand whether your legal representation is unethical or incompetent. If you feel they have, but aren’t sure if you have a case, contact Henderson Law for a consultation. Our legal malpractice attorneys will review your case and present all of your options. Call (410) 721-1979 today to schedule a consultation. Physicians in British Columbia have a duty to treat patients in a manner that meets the standards of the medical profession. Many doctors continue to provide high-quality care, diagnose health problems promptly and provide appropriate and effective treatments.
However, medical negligence is still a major problem. The University of Toronto Journal reports that between 17,000 and 30,000 patients die each year from preventable medical errors in Canadian hospitals.
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If you believe your doctor made a critical error during your care, you may be able to sue for damages. Unfortunately, recovering fair compensation for injuries resulting from medical malpractice is often challenging.
Hiring a Vancouver medical malpractice attorney is critical to the successful resolution of your claim. Continue reading for more information about suing a doctor for negligence or contact Klein Attorneys today for a free consultation.
It is important to understand that not every mistake made by a doctor qualifies as medical malpractice. Doctors are not expected to be perfect. However, they are expected to uphold the standard of care in the treatment of patients.
Standard care is a legal term for the skill, judgment, and performance that can reasonably be expected of a physician in a given situation. It is a means of determining how a competent practitioner would have acted in the situation and how your doctor might have deviated from that standard.
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Most violations of the standard of care are not cut and dried. A detailed investigation is usually required to determine errors on the part of the doctor and how his negligence caused your injuries. Testimony from medical experts is often crucial to establishing how a competent practitioner would have addressed your complaint.
Errors in medicine can take many forms. They can occur in any setting where health care is provided, including hospitals and emergency rooms, family practices, health clinics, surgical facilities, and more.
Some of the most common errors by doctors that lead to medical malpractice claims include:
Surgical errors are another common issue in medical malpractice claims. Although all surgeries involve risks, patients can be sued for malpractice when foreign objects are left inside them, surgeons operate on the wrong part of the body, and they are exposed to complications from anesthesia.
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Surgeons are specialized doctors who often perform precise, high-tech operations. Multiple surgical procedures cover medical specialties such as cardiology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, urology, ophthalmology, oncology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology and many more. Any malpractice claim involving a medical specialty requires expert testimony with in-depth knowledge of that specialty.
Doctors who dual-specialize in obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) focus their training on treating pregnant women and their unborn babies. Therefore, these doctors are often sued for birth injuries. Children who experience injuries at birth may struggle with movement and hand-eye coordination, suffer cognitive impairments, and experience other difficulties throughout life. OBGYNs may also be responsible for injuries sustained by mothers during pregnancy, labor and/or delivery.
In most cases, medical malpractice claims in British Columbia are subject to a two-year statute of limitations (known as the statute of limitations). This gives many patients little time to bring legal action against doctors and other providers for injuries caused by medical negligence.
The statute of limitations in BC is more nuanced. BC Statute of Limitations, SBC 2012, c. 13 states that the limitation period begins when a person knows or reasonably should have known all of the following:
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The limitation period may be two years from the last medical treatment of alleged negligence. However, unlike many types of personal injury claims, the harm caused by a medical error is not immediately apparent. Patients may not experience a malpractice-related adverse event until years after the fact.
In these cases, the two-year limitation period does not begin until your injury or medical error becomes apparent. Skilled medical malpractice attorneys can present evidence within two years that the patient could not reasonably have known of the error and/or its consequences. There may be other factors preventing the application of the two-year limit.
Even if you bring a claim within the statute of limitations, it may take longer to reach a conclusion in your case. Doctors are protected by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), a large and powerful organization that generally refuses to settle malpractice claims and pushes cases to trial. The CMPA’s tactics force patients seriously injured by medical negligence to wait years for their day in court.
Every day we rely on doctors to diagnose injuries and illnesses and provide appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, tens
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