client is accusing his former attorney of not fulfilling his responsibility of filing a personal-injury lawsuit within a reasonable amount of time, potentially barring the client from ever receiving legal remedy.
According to recent court documents, Steve Merritt, 61, of St. Joseph was injured in an automobile accident that occurred in Platte County on Aug. 9, 2012 and underwent extensive treatment for his injuries. Merritt retained attorney Philip Eveloff of St. Joseph to handle the negotiations with the insurance company or bring a claim against the wrongdoer.
Although the legal professional obtained medical documents and engaged in negotiations with the responsible parties’ insurance company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, a settlement was not reached before the statute of limitations expired, states court documents.
After the period allowed under the statute of limitations has run out, clients typically cannot receive legal relief. In other words, the injured party can be barred from seeking compensation for lost wages and medical expenses from the responsible party.
The case goes on to say that attorney Philip Eveloff never notified his client that he was unable to file the court documents in a timely manner, potentially breaching his duty as a legal professional.
“Attorney Philip Eveloff’s acts were negligent in his professional capacity as an attorney for failing to settle or file the lawsuit involving the auto accident before the statute of limitations had run,” states court documents.
Merritt was unable to confront Eveloff about his legal representation before his attorney died earlier this year. Now, Merritt is relying on a Missouri law that allows a defendant ad litem to serve in the capacity of a legal representative for the deceased legal professional.
Merritt’s attorney, Keith Schieber, has petitioned the court to appoint Hope Price as the defendant ad litem.