One of the most common types of solicitor negligence is missed limitation dates. If you think your solicitor, or maybe a different professional adviser has missed dates in relation to your court case, we can help.
What is a limitation date?
A limitation date refers to the amount of time an individual has to start a legal claim, from the date they suffered loss or harm.
It is the solicitor’s responsibility to ensure they serve the claim to court in time. Every law firm should have strict measures in place to ensure all the claims they are running are done so with the time limit in mind. However, good practice processes such as these are not always put in place, or adhered to.
What happens if a limitation date is missed?
If the limitation date is missed, it is very unlikely that your claim will be able to continue. In most scenarios where limitation dates are missed, the claim will be struck out by the court with no option for any further proceedings.
If a claim is struck out, can it be reinstated?
Not usually, no. If this occurs however, any claimant whose claim is now void as a result of a missed limitation date is perfectly eligible to start a new claim; a professional negligence claim against the solicitor or adviser who missed the date.
For example, if a claim cannot be brought or is struck out due to limitation reasons, a potential negligence claim could follow against the adviser who missed the date that is based on the lost chance to bring the original claim, and what that might have realised.
The Limitation Act 1980
The Limitation Act 1980 sets the time limit applicable to each type of legal claim, including making a claim for compensation:
- Civil claims (breach of contract or negligence) must be served within six years
- Personal injury claims must be served within three years of the date of injury
- Some claims (such as defamation) must be served within one year.
In terms of civil claims such as breach of contract or negligence, there is an exception to the six year rule. If the exception applies, these claims can be brought within three years of the date of reasonable knowledge, subject to a fifteen year-long stop rule.
Has your adviser missed limitation dates?
It is the duty of your adviser to ensure proper advice is given on time limits to bring a claim, and in turn if a claim is to be made it is submitted to the court in time.
Examples may include:
- Your claim has not been issued at court in time, meaning you cannot advance your case
- A deadline was set by the Court within proceedings that have been brought but not complied with leading to strike out
- A claim was issued but not served properly.
If you think your professional adviser has missed dates in relation to your own court claim, our team can help. Missing limitation dates can lead to losses or the inability to pursue an otherwise valid claim, or a claim being struck out on the basis of it being submitted too late.
We can advise on professional negligence limitation issues in relation to loss of chance claims (as you would have lost the chance to pursue your claim) where limitation has been an issue, or a claim has been struck out by the court due to “procedural defect” caused by your adviser. Call us free on 0808 164 0808 today. Alternatively, you can request a call back and one of our team will call you.