What are My Options?
When you discover that your attorney has committed legal malpractice, your options are quite limited.
One option is to sit back and do nothing. Obviously, this option does not help recoup your losses from professional negligence.
A second option is to give your attorney a chance to “fix” things. While this option at first blush provides may see appealing, it involves substantial risk—particularly when considered in light of the statute of limitations. An additional risk is the “fix” your attorney may try. Some attorneys will do the honorable thing and try to make it right. Others have less ethical motives, and simply take steps to insulate themselves. Many attorneys have escaped accountability for their legal malpractice by having their client allow them to “fix” things—like waiting to “fix” it through trial, or “fixing” things on appeal.
A third option is to quickly contact an experienced legal malpractice lawyer in Middle Tennessee or East Tennessee. This legal malpractice specialist should be able to walk you through the maze of how a legal malpractice claim works and should give you some idea of the obstacles, the law and the potential economic impact you may face.
Option three is generally the best option for those facing financial loss from an attorney’s conduct. Not only does taking immediate legal action arm you with the information you need to make wise decisions about your situation, but increases your chances of receiving appropriate compensation from an attorney who has an insurance policy for malpractice.
Most responsible attorneys who have malpractice insurance generally have what is called a “claims made” policy. Unlike “occurrence” coverage—which enables victims to file claims against a policy that was in effect at the time malpractice took place, even if the policy is no longer in effect at the time the claim is made—a “claims-made” policy means that you can only make a claim against that policy while it is in effect.
Attorneys generally renew their claims-made policies each year. If your malpracticing attorney is having financial difficulties, making a timely claim against an insurance policy that is currentlyin effect—and which they might not renew--becomes critical. If you make a timely claim and the attorney later cancels or fails to renew the policy, you may still be protected under a claims-made policy.
One thing that you cannot do is make a claim against your lawyer’s licensing board ( the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility) and wait for a decision, hoping that later on you can pursue a malpractice claim against your lawyer. Filing a claim with the Board of Professional Responsibility does not protect your claim! You must contact a legal malpractice attorney who can promptly protect your rights.Contact One of Our Experienced Legal Malpractice Lawyers in Middle Tennessee or East Tennessee
At Tennessee Legal Malpractice, our attorneys with offices in East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee are well-prepared to handle even the most complex legal malpractice cases. We have not only been providing legal representation for over 20 years, We understand just how difficult it is to be wronged by an attorney and the many ways it can affect your life. Attorneys Edward M. Graves, Jr., and David Day are board certified as Diplomates in the field of Legal Malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (which is recognized by the American Bar Association as the certifying board for this area of law in the United States).