If a criminal defense attorney is negligent in his defense of an innocent individual charged with a crime, the consequences of that negligence are quite apparent, and devastating, as his or her client is led from the courthouse in handcuffs, and forced to serve a lengthy prison sentence. The prerequisite to this discussion, of course, is that the client is actually innocent of the crimes charged, and was wrongfully convicted as the result of the defense attorney's malpractice.
The extent of your injury, and thus what you might recover from your attorney in a legal malpractice case, is a crucial question in determining whether you have a claim that is financially prudent for you to pursue. If your damages are low or speculative, then you or your attorney may be taking a big risk in investing time and money in trying to recover something. For that reason, one of the first areas of analysis - before even addressing whether your attorney committed malpractice - can sometimes be what the nature of your injuries are.