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Lawyer’s failure to name correct defendant cost man 75k, suit says

A man has filed a legal malpractice suit against his former attorney for failing to sue the correct party in a personal injury case that he hired the attorney to pursue.

The injured man is asking for over 75,000 in damages, an amount which is largely based on the harm to his neck, back, brain, and torso that occurred during the car accident. The original car accident occurred in 2007 and was a rear-end collision.

The man says that the attorney committed malpractice when he named the wrong party as a defendant in the car accident lawsuit, which meant that the injured man did not sue the person who actually injured him, and missed the deadline for the statute of limitations. Now, since that deadline has passed, his claim for damages from the car accident has expired and he is seeking to collect the amount of money he believes he would have won in that case from his attorney.

Naming the proper parties is one of the basic duties of an attorney in filing a lawsuit. While it can sometimes be difficult to track down the one responsible party right away, general good practice usually requires that attorneys name all potential defendants in the initial filing precisely to avoid the expiration of the statute of limitations.

People who believe that their attorney did not properly represent them and was negligent in fulfilling their duties to the point of negligence can pursue a legal malpractice claim. In order to prevail, it must be clear that the attorney’s misconduct or negligence caused a financial loss or a loss of a case.

Source: Madison County Record, “Legal malpractice case claims wrong defendant named in suit,” Kelly Hollerman, March 21, 2013.

Information about legal malpractice claims can be found on our website.