After the end of your legal case, you may have thought there was nothing more you could do. At the time you did not realize your attorney made severe mistakes in your case that significantly affected the outcome. Now, you know that a legal malpractice claim is possible, but is it too late for your case?
In Kentucky, legal malpractice cases have strict deadlines for filing a claim. Knowing these statutes of limitations and some extenuating factors can help you make decisions about your potential legal malpractice claim.
What are the statutes of limitations in a Kentucky malpractice case?
To be clear, you should speak with a legal malpractice attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you have a claim. Legal malpractice law is complex and speaking with a professional is the fastest and most accurate way to determine if your claim is no longer viable.
By default, Kentucky legal malpractice claims have a three- or five-year statute of limitations. The five-year limitation applies if the client-attorney representation is in writing. The three-year limitation is applied if the attorney-client representation agreement was not in writing. At the end of these deadlines, the claim is no longer actionable.
Multiple exceptions may lengthen this deadline, including:
- Continuous representation rule: If your attorney continues to represent you after the end of your initial case that may extend your ability to file a malpractice claim. For example, if your attorney makes a mistake during the trial and continues to represent your case during the appeal for the same case, the limitation clock starts ticking after the end of the appeals process.
- Discovery rule: This rule is applied if your lawyers’ mistake would not be immediately clear at the time. For example, if your attorney created a property deed with a critical inaccuracy, then you may know about this problem until you go to sell your real estate. The statute of limitations starts as soon as you should reasonably become aware of the attorney’s mistake.
These are only two of the many potential exceptions that can occur in a malpractice case. There may be other circumstances which extend the statute of limitations.
What can you do if you are unsure about the statute of limitations?
If you have more questions about your legal malpractice claim and the statute of limitations, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled legal malpractice lawyer can review the details of your case and help you understand if a claim is possible.