Keeping Track of the Statute of Limitations
It is never easy to win a contested personal injury lawsuit. There are hundreds of small details that can make or break your case. Using quality law practice management software is therefore a necessity for any personal injury attorney who does not want to get caught unprepared. The last thing you want is to botch a client’s case because of a missed deadline or any overlooked detail that got lost in the internal chaos of your office.
Sloppy Case Management Leads to Devastated Clients
Consider one of the most critical details that a personal injury lawyer needs to keep track of – The statute of limitations. Every state has some sort of deadline for filing a case. In most states it is two or three years, but the range across the United States is between one and 10 years.
Obviously, no attorney intends to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired. But if a personal injury lawyer and his or her firm have poor internal office procedures, something may get overlooked, which ultimately leads to a missed deadline. Consider the following scenarios:
- You are filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for a client who was injured due to a surgical error. You forget to identify the doctor’s medical practice as a corporate defendant. By the time you realize the mistake and try to file an amended pleading, the statute of limitations has expired.
- You leave your paralegal a handwritten note telling him or her to make sure a filing is sent by courier to the courthouse before 5 p.m. because the statute of limitations expires today. The paralegal follows your instructions, except he or she assumes you wanted to file the case in state court. The case was actually meant for federal court.
- Your client is injured on a cruise ship while at sea. Your staff assumes the case is subject to Florida’s statute of limitations, which is four years. Cruise ships are subject to federal maritime law, however, which imposes a stricter one-year deadline for personal injury claims.
In all these scenarios, your client pays the price for your negligence. You may end up footing the bill if the client turns around and files a legal malpractice lawsuit against you. A judge or jury will not excuse your sloppy internal case management because you failed to put proper controls in place to protect your clients.
Co-Counselor Can Help You Avoid Missing Deadlines
This is where Co-Counselor can help. Our law practice management software is specially designed by plaintiff attorneys for plaintiff attorneys. We know the dread of missing a filing deadline due to an internal miscommunication. That is why our software allows you to enter custom fields so you can track things like upcoming statute of limitations deadlines.
More importantly, Co-Counselor allows all of your attorneys and staff to be on the same page. Everyone can access scheduling and client information through a simple, secure web interface. Call us today at 404-492-5859 to schedule a free demo of Co-Counselor and learn how we can help your personal injury practice grow and thrive.