Professionals are expected to follow a code of ethics that applies to how the client or customer 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?
Personal injury claims have a set statute of limitations that requires a legal team to file the case within a certain time period. This limit is dependent upon the state in which the claim is being made. In the state of Alaska, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is 3 years. However, there exists some exceptions that may prolong or pause the statute of limitations. Such exceptions are rare and often up to the judge to determine if they are available for a specific claim. When a statute of limitations has passed its time frame, no matter how valid the claim is, this case will fail to be initiated because the deadline has passed. It is up to the lawyer to file the claim before the restricted time and to start processing the matter in the courts.
The term malpractice is defined by the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute 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.” Whether the professional is a lawyer who owns a business malpractice may occur when they are negligent in their duties to the client. When a lawyer fails to bring forth a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the client may actually have a valid case of malpractice. However, this is dependent on the situation.
The legal professional hired for a personal injury claims has an obligation and duty to the client to both protect the client’s rights and pursue their best interests. By letting the statute of limitations deadline pass, the lawyer may become negligent in their duties. There is no question in that filing the claim is an important process and without accomplishing this some cases will fail immediately. It is possible that the judge may understand and grant leave to file a late notice, however, this may not help in some situations. It is possible to pursue a claim of professional malpractice or hire a new lawyer to petition the courts for a late notice for the claim.
It is important to understand the full extent of the services performed by the lawyer for the personal injury claim. In most cases, the lawyer will already send and file paperwork, contact the court clerk or judge and initiate communication with others involved in the process. However, some deadlines pass due to administrative issues outside the lawyer’s control. Other factors may be at play such as the length of delaying the case, serving notice, the defending party and other reasonable or excusable issues. Hiring a lawyer late and very close to the deadline may also cause complications in meeting this time frame.
For legal advice on matters regarding professional malpractice speak to an attorney Anchorage Ak .