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Plaintiff says attorney’s negligence cost his chance at damages

A Los Angeles resident who is hurt in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence has the right to seek damages from the negligent party. Often, the victim’s injuries are severe, costing him or her hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

But when a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney limits the amount he or she can recover because of a mistake in paperwork, the plaintiff could fail to get more than a fraction of what he or she deserves. When injustice occurs in that way, the plaintiff could have the option to make it up by filing a legal malpractice claim against the negligent attorney who harmed his or her case.

In one example, the victim of a semi truck accident is suing the attorney who represented him in a personal injury claim against the owner of the truck. He says he was unable to ask for the actual amount of his damages because the lawyer messed up an important court filing.

Among the documents included in the lawsuit was a claim that the plaintiff’s damages did not exceed $50,000. In fact, the plaintiff said, that was not the case.

Nearly a year later, the defendants moved to amend the suit so to note that the claimed damages probably did exceed $50,000. But the court denied the motion, perhaps reasoning that the parties had had several months to notice the error and make the change.

Now the plaintiff is seeking from his former attorney the damages he was barred from pursuing in his personal injury suit.

Source: The Louisiana Record, “Motor vehicle accident victim sues attorney for legal malpractice,” Kyle Barnett, March 25, 2014