If you suspect your lawyer mishandled your case or behaved unethically, you may wish to file a legal malpractice suit. Your first step is to make sure the statute of limitations has not already passed. If you fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations ends, you permanently lose your right to pursue a claim. Timely and proactive action is essential.
When does the clock start?
In Florida, a legal malpractice suit must be brought forth within two years of when a client had knowledge or should have known that a lawyer committed legal malpractice. In many cases, the clock starts at when at attorney’s actions harm your case. Actions such as a missed filing deadline or inappropriate use of funds are easy to identify the specific date or time of the occurrence. In those scenarios you would have two years from the incident to file a malpractice lawsuit.
In other situations, the exact mistake or incident may be harder to pinpoint. It could take weeks, months or even longer before you realize something happened that resulted in negative consequences for your case. Once you have knowledge of the error or misdeed, you have 24 months to bring forth a claim against your attorney.
The bottom line – it’s complicated
Legal malpractice cases often involve subtle, almost imperceptible details that ultimately cause damage. With so many possibilities for when things can go wrong, statute of limitations cases can be fraught with complexities. In general, legal malpractice claims take time to investigate and prepare. It is in your best interest to start pursuing a claim as soon as possible.
If after reading this you still have questions about the statute of limitations for legal malpractice, know that you are not alone. Legal malpractices cases are often nuanced and require extensive legal knowledge. For more information about the timeframe in which to file a claim, reach out to an experienced legal malpractice attorney.