Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of Limitation:  Bars to Legal Claims

A statute of limitation is a law that provides for a time period that, once past, forever bars you from pursuing a particular legal claim. Breach of contract, for example, carries a five-year statute of limitations in Florida. The statute for negligence actions lasts for four years, and the period is two years for professional liability cases targeting lawyers, physicians and accountants.  If your lawsuit is not filed within that time period, you may lose that claim forever.

Lawyer mistakes relating to statutes of limitations are frequently grounds for legal malpractice claims. Did your lawyer identify the wrong defendant or improperly calculate the statute of limitations regarding your claim? Did he or she fail to conduct adequate discovery or investigation into the matter, never realizing the importance of bringing a particular defendant into your lawsuit?

A statute of limitation can be missed by an attorney for several other reasons. For example, a defendant might have been properly named, but your law firm failed to properly serve the complaint on the defendant before the statutory time limit ends.  Another example is when an attorney's failure to complete a proper investigation in a timely fashion leads to the omission of a defendant who should have been named in your case.  Sometimes, the explanation is as simple as neither the lawyer nor his staff properly calculated or calendared the deadline.

 In virtually every case where a statute of limitations (or, for that matter, any other court deadline) is missed, the lawyer will be considered negligent. 

 If this happened to you, please contact us today.

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