Professionals follow a code of ethics that applies to how the client is treated to advertised services. Such ethics are principles that the individual professional should emulate in their daily life. What if a lawyer, who follows a code of ethics, misses a claim deadline? Does this amount to malpractice? Is there lawyer malpractice?
Personal injury claims have a set time frames that require a legal team to file the case before this time lapses. This limit is referred to as the statute of limitations. Each state’s statute of limitations depends on the state in which the claim is being made. In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is 4 years. However, there are some exceptions that may prolong or pause the statute of limitations. Such exceptions are rare and often up to the judge to decide if they are allowed for a specific claim.
When a statute of limitations has passed its time frame, this case will fail to be started. Therefore, no matter how valid the claim is, it is barred from filing. This is because the deadline has passed. It is up to the lawyer to file the claim before the period of time and to start the court process.
Malpractice is defined as, “when a professional fails to properly execute their duty to a client. The duty of a professional to a client is generally defined as the duty to follow generally accepted professional standards.” Generally, malpractice may occur when professionals are negligent in their duties to their client. And this applies whether the professional is a lawyer or owns a law firm.
When a lawyer fails to bring forth a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the client may have a valid malpractice case. However, this depends on the situation leading to the failure to file the case.