Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am very sorry to hear about this completely incompetent representation.
If you missed your statute of limitations, you are barred from filing suit against the police department. Statutes of limitations are rigid like this, and ineffective assistance of counsel is not an exception to the rule.
The good news is that if your attorney failed to file a lawsuit within the statutory period for doing so, you would typically have a strong malpractice case. So, rather than suing the police department directly, you are now suing your attorney for the damages you would have recovered if your lawsuit was timely filed. In a malpractice action, you still need to prove the underlying facts of your original case, since it is necessary to establish that you would have prevailed in order to recover damages. So, in a sense, you are still bringing the exact same issues to court, it is only the defendant that has changed.
Most attorneys have malpractice insurance, so even if your attorney does not have the assets to pay a judgment, it does not matter. The insurance company is contractually bound to pay a judgment, and to negotiate the claim in good faith.
As soon as possible you need to consult with a malpractice attorney. There is a rigid statute of limitations for professional malpractice claims, and you wouldn't want to have that one lapse on you as at that point you will have no further recourse whatsoever. See here to locate a malpractice attorney in your area who can help: http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/legal-malpractice
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