I was hit by a vehicle while crossing a street in my neighborhood on 12/01/10. After 1 year of being told by my atty's paralegal/wife that they were "still unable to get the liability information," I suggested filing an SR-100 w/DMV since, they hadn't done that, yet. (My calls were rarely returned & when they did respond to my calls it was thru the mail. After 22 yrs in the same location they moved to another office bldg, and lost my ph #, 3 times.) I left a vm offering to file the report w/DMV myself (assuming it would speed up the process of obtaining the liability info,) and instead of a phone call, I received a letter informing me I was being "discharged." Receiving, a fedex from the insurance co, on 11/27, gives me only 2 days remaining before the statute of limitation expires.
They are not reqd to advise of the statute of limitations if you are represented by counsel. They probably just got notice that the atty was no longer representing you, so they sent the notice now.
Get to an atty immediately, and file suit on Monday. When the statute expires on a day court is not open, you have to the next court day to file.
If the accident was on 12/1/10, then you need to get a lawsuit filed on Monday or else the statute will expire. Get some help over the weekend and get it ready to file first thing on Monday.
Also, if you were under 18 years of age at the time of the accident, then you have until your 20th birthday in which to file the lawsuit.
If your attorney is a member of the CA bar, then he is subject to the following rule governing withdrawals:
Rule of Professional Conduct
Rule 3-700 "Termination of Employment."
(2) A member shall not withdraw from employment until the member has taken reasonable steps to avoid reasonably foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the client, including giving due notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, complying with rule 3-700(D), and complying with applicable laws and rules.
The facts you stated are NOT crystal clear as to WHEN you received the "withdrawal letter" from your attorney's office. If it is ultimately found that it was too close to the two year anniversary date (in my office we like to give no less than 45 days notice), then he violated Rule 3-700(2). However, you cannot rest on a "potential" legal malpractice claim that you may or may not have and simply ignore the statute - especially now that you've sought out and received legal advice telling you that you must file to protect your case. You are now on notice (presumably) and failure to act would be comparative negligence on your part.
Lastly, you also asked why would the insurance company wait so long to inform you that there is a statute of limitations. The fact that the insurance company wrote to you directly raises a red flag that maybe your attorney in fact withdrew from your representation long ago as insurers generally do not contact known represented plaintiff's directly. See below:
Unfair Claims Settlement Regulations Section 2695.7(f) states: “Every insurer shall provide written notice of any statute of limitation or other time period requirement upon which the insurer may rely to deny a claim. Such notice shall be given to the claimant not less than sixty (60) days prior to the expiration date; … This subsection shall NOT apply to a claimant represented by counsel on the claim matter.”
Whatever you do, I agree with the five attorneys before me that you must act to protect the statute of limitations in the appropriate court in a timely manner. Otherwise, you forfeit all your rights to proceed against the responsible party.
Ricardo Antonio Perez, ONTARIO, CA.
You need to find a lawyer in your area tomorrow who can file suit for you on Monday. Do not delay. You might also consider filing a grievance against your old lawyer because it sounds as if he or she acted inappropriately. I am sorry you had a bad experience. Hopefully you find someone to help you tomorrow. Good luck. (Search for a car accident or personal injury attorney in your area right here on AVVO and contact them immediately).
The Statute is Not blown until the end of business on Monday.
The only thing you need to concentrate on is getting a complaint filed with the court on Monday.
The forms for this are on the judicial council website.
If you don't have thhe name file against DOES 1-100 (DOE is an unnamed person)
You need to file a suit on Monday! I would like to talk to you about this case.
Check out my website below and give me a call for a free consultation if you are a California resident 877-427-2752 or you can email me at Michael@Kingofpersonalinjurylaw.com
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