My Attorney Screwed Up My Case…What Are My Rights?

If you were injured due to another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, hiring an Orlando personal injury lawyer may have been your first step. A lawyer helps you maximize the compensation you receive for economic and non-economic damages. They also protect you from bad-faith insurance practices and monitor the statute of limitations for your case.

However, what happens if your relationship with the attorney isn’t working? Is there any recourse if your attorney screwed up your case? Keep reading to learn what you can do if you need to hire a new personal injury attorney in Orlando, FL.

What Are My Rights as a Client When I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida?

What Are My Rights as a Client When I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida?

When you hire a lawyer, you have certain rights as a client. Your attorney should act to protect your best interests throughout the process. 

Examples of things an attorney should do during a personal injury case include, but are not limited to:

  • Review your claim to provide an honest assessment of your legal rights and options based on current, relevant laws and statutes 
  • Understand the details of your case and your goals for filing a personal injury claim 
  • Advise you of the attorney’s legal opinion regarding your case and the basis for that opinion 
  • Explain the attorney fee structure, which is typically a contingency fee
  • Conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence supporting your case
  • Keep you informed of the progress of your case, including delays, settlement offers, setbacks, and other significant steps
  • Evaluate the fairness of a settlement offer and the pros and cons of accepting the offer versus going to trial
  • Provide sufficient information for you to make critical decisions about the direction of your case
  • Monitor the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit
  • Provide effective communication with you throughout your case

You have the right to fire your attorney at any point during your case for any reason. You can fire them for failing to provide satisfactory legal services or because you don’t get along. However, if you fire your lawyer, you may owe fees and costs depending on the terms of the retainer agreement and contingency fee agreement.

Failing to recover the compensation you believe you deserve or losing your case alone doesn’t prove that your lawyer has committed legal malpractice. However, there could be reasons why an attorney lost a case that rises to the level of malpractice

Proving legal malpractice requires you to have sufficient evidence demonstrating each of the following legal elements:

Attorney-Client Relationship

There must be a legal relationship between the parties to support grounds for a legal malpractice claim. Answering a legal question at a social event does not necessarily result in a relationship that creates a duty of care. Generally, signing a retainer agreement and/or paying a retainer fee is evidence of an attorney-client relationship.

An attorney-client relationship creates a legal duty of care requiring the attorney to act in your best interest. The attorney must provide competent legal services and act with reasonable care during all phases of your case.

Breach of Duty of Care 

When a lawyer fails to meet the required standards for representing a client, they breach the duty of care. A breach of duty may occur because of the attorney’s actions, such as violating professional standards or ethics. It may also happen when an attorney fails to act, such as failing to monitor the statute of limitations or failing to file required documents with the court.


The attorney’s conduct must have directly and proximately caused harm. Identifiable harm could be a lower value for your claim because the attorney did not document your damages. Another example may be losing the right to file a lawsuit because the lawyer missed the filing deadline. 


You must have sustained monetary losses because of the attorney’s breach of duty. You might not be entitled to compensation in a legal malpractice claim if you didn’t suffer any harm due to the attorney’s actions. 

Attorneys are not infallible. They make mistakes and errors. Some attorneys may intentionally act against their client’s best interests or act negligently. 

Examples of actions and inactions that could result in a legal malpractice claim include, but are not limited to:

  • Mishandling trust account funds
  • Failing to confirm that the attorney does not have a conflict of interest
  • Violating attorney-client privilege by disclosing confidential and privileged information
  • Failing to correctly establish the statute of limitations for a case and/or failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires
  • Committing fraud or other illegal acts
  • Failing to attend court hearings, mediation, or other meetings
  • Incorrectly applying statutes and case law to your case
  • Failing to present all settlement offers to you for consideration
  • Missing deadlines and/or failing to file documents with the court or other parties
  • Failing to obtain consent from you before accepting a settlement offer on your behalf
  • Intentionally misleading you about the law or other matters related to your personal injury case

You have the burden of proving that your lawyer committed malpractice if you file a legal malpractice claim. It’s best to consult a legal malpractice attorney immediately if you suspect that your lawyer screwed up your personal injury case.

What Should I Do if My Attorney is Mishandling My Personal Injury Case in Orlando, FL?

You can discuss your case with another personal injury lawyer in Orlando. Receiving a second opinion may resolve your concerns. If your attorney mishandles your personal injury case, you may want to fire them and hire another attorney.

If a personal injury lawsuit is dismissed or there is a legal reason your case cannot continue, obtain a second opinion immediately. You may not have much time to file a new case or pursue your claim. You may also have a legal malpractice claim against your former attorney. 

Determining what to do if you suspect your attorney is screwing up your personal injury case can be challenging. Seeking legal advice from another lawyer when you suspect a problem is the best way to protect your legal rights. 

Contact Us for a Free Consultation With an Orlando Personal Injury Attorney To Discuss Your Rights

If you are unsure whether your attorney is working in your best interest, call Payer Personal Injury Lawyers at (407) 648-1510 for a free consultation. We will provide an honest assessment of your case and address your concerns.