Personal Injury Claim Dismissed after Attorney Misses Hearing

The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently published an opinion that affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a plaintiff’s personal injury lawsuit. The reason for the dismissal was what appeared to be a simple clerical error, although the plaintiff’s attorney failed to respond to the motion to dismiss or attend the hearing that was scheduled to address the defendant’s motion. As a result of the state supreme court ruling, the plaintiff may be unable to receive compensation for his alleged injuries caused by the defendant’s negligence.

Pocket WatchPlaintiff Was Allegedly Injured at Defendant’s Nightclub and Files Suit

According to the facts explained in the appellate opinion, the plaintiff filed a personal injury claim against the defendant, who was the owner of a bar and nightclub, after the plaintiff was injured in a fight at the nightclub. The plaintiff retained an attorney and filed a personal injury claim against the defendant. The plaintiff’s complaint misstated the date of the plaintiff’s injuries, claiming that the incident occurred over three years prior to the date the complaint was filed.

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the three-year statute of limitations had passed, and the plaintiff’s lawsuit was filed too late. A hearing was scheduled for the parties to argue the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and the plaintiff’s attorney could have presumably requested to amend the complaint with the correct dates, although no objection was filed, and the plaintiff’s attorney didn’t attend the hearing. Since the defendant’s motion was not contested, the district court dismissed the plaintiff’s case.

Plaintiff Appeals, Arguing that the Attorney Never Received Notice of the Motion or Hearing

The plaintiff appealed the dismissal, asking the court to excuse his attorney’s failure to appear because the attorney claimed that she hadn’t received the motion to dismiss or notice of the hearing that she didn’t attend. The appellate court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that her failure to respond to the motion was “excusable neglect,” finding that the plaintiff’s attorney’s failure to update her contact information on the court’s electronic filing system did not justify overturning the dismissal.

Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

In most cases, South Florida personal injury lawsuits are subject to a four-year statute of limitations. A Miami accident victim must file a legal claim for damages within the applicable time frame, or they will be unable to receive compensation from a negligent defendant. Certain factors may allow the statute of limitations to be tolled or extended, although claims that are prepared and filed as soon as possible after a plaintiff suffers an injury generally have a greater chance of success. South Florida negligence victims should consult with a competent Miami negligent security attorney as quickly as possible after they are injured to preserve the greatest chance for relief.

Are You a Victim of Negligence?

If you or a family member has been injured or killed as a result of the negligence or wrongful act of another party, the qualified South Florida personal injury attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank have the experience and discipline to handle your case properly. Our Miami accident lawyers understand the procedural requirements for a successful negligence case, and we take care to do everything possible to help our clients pursue compensation for their claims. At Friedman, Rodman and Frank, we accept clients in Miami and throughout South Florida in many types of negligence cases. If you have been seriously injured, contact us toll-free at 877-448-8585 or use our web form to set up a free consultation. Se habla Español / Nou Parlé Creole.

More Blog Posts:

Court Affirms Judgment for Defendant in Case Filed after Fatal Skateboarding Accident, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published June 30, 2016.

State Supreme Court Rules that Post-Mortem Misconduct by Doctor Is Medical Malpractice, Reverses Damages Award, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published June 13, 2016.

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