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Can inadequate investigation qualify for legal malpractice claims?

As a client, you rely heavily on your legal representatives to provide professional guidance, protect your interests and ensure justice is served. So, what happens when your lawyer’s performance falls short, and you have suffered? 

Can inadequate investigation qualify as a basis for a legal malpractice claim? To successfully pursue a legal malpractice claim, certain elements must be proven.

How to prove legal malpractice 

For you to have a valid legal malpractice claim, the attorney in question must have breached their duty of care. Legal professionals owe their clients a duty of care which is established when the attorney agrees to handle a legal matter. 

The attorney breaches their duty of care when they fall short of the standard of care expected of a competent attorney. Most importantly, the client must have suffered actual damages due to the attorney’s actions or omissions.

What constitutes inadequate investigation?

Legal malpractice claims based on inadequate investigation often revolve around the attorney’s failure to gather sufficient evidence, conduct thorough research or properly interview witnesses. When an attorney’s lack of investigation leads to a negative outcome in a case, the client may have a valid basis for a legal malpractice claim.

In order to establish a valid legal malpractice claim based on inadequate investigation, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the attorney had a duty to investigate the relevant facts and gather evidence to support the case. However, the attorney failed to fulfill their duty by conducting a superficial or inadequate investigation, which led to unfavorable results in your legal matter. The plaintiff should also determine a direct link between the attorney’s inadequate investigation and the harm or damages suffered.

Inadequate investigation by an attorney can have profound consequences for a client’s legal matter. If you believe you have suffered harm due to your lawyer’s failure to conduct a thorough investigation, you may have grounds for a legal malpractice claim.