Making the decision to sue someone who was negligent or intentionally hurtful is not easy. Even when a person feels as if they have every right to file a lawsuit for a personal injury, medical malpractice, contract disputes, fraud or for some other offense, just knowing that there is an uphill battle ahead can make a lot of people simply accept a low ball offer, or even chock the incident as a "bad experience" or a "life lesson." Any of these types of lawsuits can be challenging to prove depending on your case and the evidence available.
Throughout the process there will be several different legal forms to file, and in most cases it is best to do this with the assistance of a lawyer. A good lawyer should understand what to expect from your type of case, they should participate in the investigation process, and make every effort to stay in close communication with your about your case in order to keep it moving forward at a reasonable pace that will give you the best possible chance at a positive outcome. One of the most important details an attorney needs to pay attention to is the statute of limitations for whatever infraction you are suing the defendant for. They must see past the defendant's attempts to stall proceedings that would risk dragging out the case to the point where it is too old for a judge or jury to hear or justice to prevail. If you have worked with a lawyer on some sort of civil lawsuit that was allowed to "expire" you may have a legal malpractice claim.
How Long Until Statutes of Limitations Run Out for a Case?
The statutes of limitations for a civil lawsuit depend on the type of lawsuit that is being filed. In Colorado some of the more common limits include
- 2-3 years for the injury of a person
- 1 year for libel or slander
- 1 or 3 years for fraud, depending on the case
- 2-3 years for contract disputes
- 2 years on professional malpractice
While many of these limits may seem plentiful on the surface, for a thorough investigation and evidence to be presented, it is important that an attorney begin work on the case as soon as possible, and stay diligent and committed toward putting their best effort into the case.
If My Lawyer Runs Out of Time, Is it Malpractice?
There are many reasons why a lawyer may run out of time when pursuing civil action against an individual or company on behalf of their client. The client might have waited too long before consulting with an attorney, or they may have withheld important information about the case that made a timely successful outcome a bigger challenge than they could reasonably handle. In order to have a malpractice case against the lawyer, their client needs to be able to show that their lawyer was negligent in their representation, and that negligence affected you adversely in some way. In other words, you need to show that a different attorney would have most likely been successful given the same tools and information to work the case in a timely manner.
If you are going to fight a lawyer that was once on your side, it is important that you have a new attorney that is truly on your side and who has experience with legal malpractice cases. In the Denver area, the Viorst Law Offices are experienced in many areas of the law, including legal malpractice. If your former attorney did not serve you the way they should have, set up a consultation to get your case reviewed and to get an honest evaluation of your options.