When you hire an attorney, doctor, or other professional to perform work for you, you rely on them to have certain training and skills. Typically, you are willing to pay a premium for those specialized qualifications. In fact, by advertising their services as a licensed or certified professional, they are inviting you to place your trust in their qualifications. What happens when that trust is violated?
Under certain circumstances, a professional's failure to live up to clients' reasonable expectations is so serious that it constitutes professional malpractice. When a professional commits malpractice, he or she may be liable for damages to clients who were harmed. The professional malpractice attorneys at The Odom Firm in Charlotte, North Carolina represent individuals who have been harmed by medical or legal malpractice.
What Is Professional Malpractice?
All professions have certain standards that their members are expected to uphold. Medicine and law have ethical codes that members must abide by, or risk facing professional discipline. When a doctor or lawyer fails to act as a reasonable member of that profession would in a similar situation, and a client is harmed, the professional has committed malpractice.
Malpractice may be the result of carelessness or negligence, such as when a lawyer neglects to file a document with the court by a deadline, and his client loses the right to pursue a claim. It may be the result of an intentional act, such as embezzlement by a lawyer, or a doctor taking deliberate advantage of a vulnerable client. In either case, when personal or financial damage results, the professional may be liable to the client and may be required to pay monetary damages.
Simply receiving a bad or unexpected outcome does not mean that the professional has committed malpractice. The professional must have acted as a reasonable professional would not have, or failed to act as a reasonable professional would. A professional who violates his or her profession's code of ethics, for example, is likely to meet this test.
For example, attorneys' professional codes of conduct typically forbid them from actions such as:
- Accepting cases they know they are not competent to handle
- Representing two clients whose interests are in conflict with one another, except under specific circumstances
- Failing to meet deadlines in such a way that client rights are compromised
- Misappropriating client funds
Such actions can expose an attorney not only to liability for professional malpractice, but to professional discipline, which may include disbarment.
If you suspect that your attorney or doctor has committed malpractice, you should consult an attorney with experience representing victims of professional malpractice. These cases are complex and highly fact-specific, and you have only a limited time in which to file a claim. An experienced attorney will be able to listen to your story, ask relevant questions, and help you to take action before it is too late.
Consult With Experienced Charlotte Medical and Legal Malpractice Attorneys
The Odom Firm represents clients who have been the victims of professional malpractice in North Carolina. Many of our cases involve attorney malpractice, something we take very seriously because it reflects negatively on our profession. We also represent clients in medical malpractice matters.
When you consult with a professional malpractice attorney at The Odom Firm, you will receive a thorough assessment of your claim, and, if your claim is worth pursuing, powerful advocacy to see that justice is done.
The Odom Firm represents victims of professional malpractice in Charlotte and throughout North Carolina. We invite you to call our Charlotte office at 704-377-7333 to schedule a consultation or contact us online. We look forward to working with you.