When you hire a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer, you expect them to work in your best interest. However, what happens if your lawyer screws up your case? Can you sue a lawyer for not doing their job?
As a legal client, you have specific rights. If your attorney violates them, you might have a legal malpractice claim. If you believe your lawyer is not doing their job or you have a problem with your lawyer, contact our law firm immediately to discuss your legal options.
What To Do When Your Attorney Ignores You
A common complaint against attorneys is that the attorney did not respond to the client. The client then may want to know how to sue the lawyer for misconduct.
Before you jump to filing a lawsuit, schedule a meeting with your lawyer to try to work out the situation. Not returning telephone calls might not be a reason to file a malpractice claim. However, it could be a sign of a problem that could negatively impact your personal injury case.
Common questions we receive about attorney misconduct include:
- Can I sue my attorney after settlement?
- What happens if I believe my lawyer lied to me?
- Can I sue my lawyer for accepting a settlement without my approval?
- When can I fire an attorney for misrepresentation?
- What is legal malpractice?
- What are the common causes of legal malpractice?
- What are my rights as a client?
Our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers answer these questions and many more in this article. We are also available to discuss your situation during a confidential consultation.
What Is Legal Malpractice?
Most personal injury lawyers are dedicated to fighting for their client’s rights to fair compensation for damages. However, not all attorneys are alike. Some attorneys make mistakes or negligently cause financial losses for their clients.
Malpractice occurs when a professional fails to perform their duty to a client. Legal malpractice means an attorney breached their duty of care. Breach of duty is the second legal element in a malpractice claim.
Proving legal malpractice requires you to prove the following:
- Duty – The lawyer owed you a duty of care to provide services that comply with the law and the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct.
- Breach of Duty – The lawyer’s conduct did not meet the standard of care because the attorney made a mistake, was negligent, committed an intentional tort, or is guilty of other wrongdoing.
- Causation – The lawyer’s breach of duty was the proximate and direct cause of your harm.
- Damages – You suffered financial losses because of the lawyer’s actions.
Most of the conduct that results in legal malpractice claims arises from problems with the attorney-client relationship. Problems arise when there is a lack of competence, communication, or adequate legal work.
Common Reasons for Legal Malpractice Claims in Las Vegas, NV
Common problems that could lead to a legal malpractice claim include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to know the applicable law for a client’s case or not knowing how to apply the law
- Failing to file documents
- Inadequate discovery during a personal injury case
- Missing deadlines for court filings
- Accepting a personal injury settlement without the client’s consent
- Lack of communication with the client
- Misappropriation of client funds
- Failing to check for or disclose conflicts of interest
- Intentional harm, such as fraud or theft
- Errors in strategy and planning
- Fee disputes, such as overbilling
- General negligence in professional conduct
General negligence covers a wide variety of conduct that can breach the duty of care owed to a client. For example, an attorney who violates attorney-client privilege could be guilty of negligence. Failing to provide an accounting for property or money is another example of negligence.
Determining if an attorney committed legal malpractice can be challenging. An experienced Las Vegas legal malpractice lawyer is the best source of information and advice.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Legal Malpractice Claim in Nevada?
Nevada Revised Statutes §11.207 sets a four or two-year deadline to file an action against an attorney for malpractice. Clients must file a legal malpractice lawsuit by the date that occurs first:
- Within four years of the client sustaining damages because of the malpractice; OR,
- Within two years of when the client discovered or should have reasonably discovered the malpractice.
The court could dismiss your case if you miss the deadline to file a legal malpractice lawsuit. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice as soon as you suspect that your attorney committed legal malpractice.
What Are My Rights as a Personal Injury Attorney’s Client?
The attorney-client relationship affords you several basic rights. Some of the client’s rights include:
- The right to effective and proper communication with your lawyer
- The competency and core knowledge of the law by your lawyer
- Work should be completed ethically
- A full disclosure of attorney’s fees before you sign a retainer agreement
- Guidance and legal advice regarding your legal matter
- A right to make vital decisions about settlements and other major issues related to your case
- Receiving prompt notification of any delays, changes, or setbacks in your case
- An assessment of the cost analysis of any settlement offers
- Regular updates regarding the status of your case
- Provide sufficient information for you to make educated and informed decisions about your case
- Prepare you for depositions, hearings, and trial
- Prepare your case for trial and diligently advocate for you in court
If you have lost confidence in your personal injury lawyer, you have the right to fire your attorney. However, you might owe fees and costs if you fire your attorney before the case is complete. The terms and conditions of the retainer agreement dictate how fees and costs are handled if you fire your attorney.
Before you fire your lawyer, you need to review your retainer agreement. Additionally, unless your lawyer has committed malpractice or violated your rights, firing your lawyer without knowing whether another lawyer will take your case could hurt your chance of receiving compensation for damages.
Talk with one of our Las Vegas legal malpractice lawyers about your options. We understand the trust our clients put in us to help them with a personal injury case. We will provide straightforward, honest advice so that you can decide the best way to proceed with your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
Our legal team at Battle Born Injury Lawyers fights to recover the compensation you deserve for a personal injury claim. Contact our law firm at (702) 570-9000 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney.