For any legal claim, there is a set period of time for which the claim must be brought. This set period of time is known as a statute of limitations, which can vary based on the type of claim. If a claim is not filed prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the right to bring the claim is extinguished. Furthermore, if an attorney was retained to bring the claim and failed to do so in a timely manner, the attorney may be sued for malpractice. So, in Louisiana can you sue your lawyer for not filing your claim on time?
There are four elements of a malpractice claim, these include (1) duty to act, (2) a breach of this duty, (3) and this breach of duty caused the (4) damages. The duty element requires the claimant to show that the attorney owed an obligation to act with reasonable care. The breach element requires the claimant to show that the attorney breached his or her duty to the claimant. The causation element requires the claimant to show that the attorney’s conduct caused some harm –– in this case, financial harm –– to the claimant. The damages element requires the claimant to show that he or she suffered actual financial loss as a result of the attorney’s conduct.
In the present case, Nathan Lewis allegedly injured his back, neck, and knees while employed with Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) as a longshoreman. Mr. Lewis reported his injuries to his employer, ADM, who denied Lewises compensation claim but informed him that he could file a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) claim with the United States Department of Labor. Lewis then retained the services of Timothy Young and Timothy J. Young for purposes of filing such a claim, but then terminated their services on July 2, 2012.