Determining Whether a Lawyer’s Mistake Can Result in a Legal Negligence Lawsuit
Being human, lawyers make many mistakes, but most of those mistakes will not become the basis for a successful Arizona legal negligence lawsuit.
In order for a lawyer’s mistake to result in a successful negligence lawsuit, you must prove, through the use of an expert witness in most cases, that the mistake was not one a reasonably prudent lawyer would have made in the same or similar circumstances. This is often easy to show, but in some cases, the mistake is only evident in light of information obtained after the fact.
Assuming you make it over the first hurdle, you must also show that “but for” the mistake, you would not have suffered the damages you claim. It is not enough to show that the outcome of your representation was not good or that you were not happy with it.
Third, you must show that the mistake caused very substantial financial damages that would not have occurred, but for the mistake. In most Arizona legal malpractice cases, pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment are not recoverable, so you must show financial damages. Because legal negligence lawsuits are expensive, those financial damages must be considerable, in order for the lawsuit to make financial sense.
Finally, you must show that your suit was filed within the statute of limitation. States vary considerably on how long their statute of limitation is and when it starts to run, but suffice to say, if you first learned of the error six years ago, you are out of luck in almost all cases. Our Phoenix statute of limitations attorney can help you explore your legal options.
If you can satisfy all of these criteria, contact us online or give us a call at 602-954-1123.