Schwartz & Ponterio, PLLC holds lawyers responsible for legal malpractice.

When does the statute of limitations begin for malpractice?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2018 | Legal Malpractice

You have three years from the point of legal malpractice to file a claim against the attorney you believe wronged you. The interesting thing is that the statute of limitations isn’t specific on when that three-year clock begins. Generally speaking, you have three years from the time the malpractice takes place to file a claim, but there are times when the statute of limitations may not begin its clock for many months or even years following the malpractice in the case.

For example, if an attorney commits malpractice but you don’t know about it, how can you file a claim? If you discover the error months after the end of a case, then that may be the point at which the statute of limitations begins, not earlier. Interestingly, if an attorney is still representing you after a case of malpractice occurs, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the attorney stops representing you.

How do you know if you’re within the statute of limitations?

It’s often complicated to know for sure. Many people keep documents from the dates when they realized that something was wrong and go from that point. Your new attorney can help you verify that you’re within the statute of limitations before you decide to make a claim against the attorney who wronged you in your past.

Thanks to the discovery of harm rule, you may be able to begin a case long after the original malpractice took place. If the attorney hid it from you or you only just realized that the malpractice took place, your attorney may be able to help you file a claim beginning immediately after you discovered the errors in your past representation. Make sure you make your claim as soon as possible to have a good chance of having it heard in court.