Personal injury claims can often be complex and challenging legal matters. A person injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another individual will likely benefit from experienced, qualified legal counsel. In reality, not all personal injury attorneys have the same skill level, but mistakes can be made by even the top attorneys. The following are three common types of mistakes made by personal injury lawyers in the United States.
- Administrative Errors
In law firms of all practice areas, administrative errors are quite commonplace. Personal injury claims with insurance companies and personal injury lawsuits in court are replete with deadlines of different types. Usually, these are deadlines that absolutely must be met, and failing to reach one of these deadlines may have devastating consequences to a case.
There are two administrative issues that occur most frequently. The first of the two issues is the failure to make a timely filing in an insurance claim or lawsuit. An example of an important deadline is the statute of limitations, which varies by state. The statute of limitations establishes the deadline by which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. If a personal injury attorney misses this deadline, the client might forever be precluded from pursuing a lawsuit to obtain compensation for their injuries. The second of the two issues involves incorrect scheduling of hearings and other court proceedings. With surprising frequency, there are attorneys who incorrectly schedule court appearances or otherwise fail to appear in court at an appointed time.
- Inadequate Research and Investigation
A personal injury attorney has a responsibility to exercise their due diligence in the representation of a client. This obligation usually necessitates appropriate research and investigation in conjunction with a personal injury case.
A personal injury attorney may make a mistake while investigating the facts and circumstances underlying a claim or case. This investigative duty may commence even before the course of an attorney’s representation commences, as he or she should compile all relevant facts and evidence that support the claim being made in a personal injury case.
A personal injury attorney should also undertake appropriate legal research in a negligence matter. Research is yet another part of an attorney’s due diligence, but they may fail to take this important step.
- Client Communications
Client communications is the final area in which personal injury attorneys are known to make mistakes, and this can occur in a number of different ways.
A client communication error might occur when inadequate information is conveyed in regard to a settlement, court proceeding or some other significant matter associated with a case. Failing to convey information to a client might make it extremely difficult for them to make a fully informed decision.
Mistakes of this nature might even amount to legal malpractice, giving a client sufficient grounds for legal action based on the negligence of his or her own attorney.