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

Missed the statute of limitations? That could be malpractice

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2019 | Legal Malpractice

When you have a personal injury, you have only a limited amount of time to file a claim against the person who injured you. If you do not file the claim by the time that the limit is up, you will be unable to make a claim.

In most cases, you’ll file your claim well before the statute of limitations applies. However, if you’re working with an attorney and are getting close to the time limit, you may be concerned about missing the statute of limitations. If you do, you’ll lose the ability to collect any compensation from the person who caused your injuries.

What can you do if you’re worried about your attorney filing your claim in time?

The first thing to do is to make sure you talk to your attorney. If you call their office, they should reply within a few days at most. If you do not hear back, you can try again through email or by certified letter. If you still do not hear back, you may have a situation involving legal malpractice. Your attorney has an obligation to get back to you within a fair amount of time, and not responding to you is not appropriate in any case.

If your attorney doesn’t return your calls and misses the statute of limitations, you may need to speak with a new attorney about filing a lawsuit against your old attorney for legal malpractice. If you do this, you can seek compensation from the attorney who caused you to miss the opportunity to collect compensation from the person who initially harmed you.

Remember to keep documentation regarding the number of times you called your attorney, tracking for certified mail and any other information you have regarding the attorney’s behavior. If they miss something as serious as a statute of limitations, they should be held liable for the mistake they made. It is not ethical for an attorney to ignore a client, and if they’re too busy to take on a case, they should not.

Once you miss a statute of limitations, the original party you wanted to sue will be off-limits. The only option at that point is to turn to the attorney who ruined your case and ask them to pay for your losses. Most people are able to settle, but you will want to work with an attorney who is prepared to help you in court.