The statute of limitations is a state law that defines the particular amount of time that you are legally able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for an incident. Every state has its own statute of limitations with different deadlines determined by the extent of the injuries or losses incurred. It is crucial you review your claim with a car accident lawyer before this time frame passes.
Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Florida
The Florida statute of limitations for a car accident is based on whether or not the accident caused an injury or resulted in the loss of someone’s life.
For injuries, the lawsuit must be filed within four years of the accident as per Florida Statutes Section 95.11(3)(a). Typically car accidents are caused by negligence on the part of one or both drivers. You can learn more about car accidents caused by negligence by calling us today.
There is also a four-year statute of limitations for Florida accidents that result in damage to a vehicle or the loss of that vehicle. Learn more about Vehicle Damage Claims by contacting our attorneys.
The statute of limitations on an accident that resulted in a wrongful death is two years from the time of death, which may differ from the date of the accident, as per Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d).
If you attempt to file a lawsuit after the two or four-year statute of limitations deadline has passed, you are unlikely to have your case considered by the court, so you need to understand the applicable deadlines and know what steps to take before the statute of limitations is up.
Make sure that you file in plenty of time with a car accident lawsuit, no matter how confident you are that you will receive a settlement in negotiation with the insurance adjusters. This will give you more leverage in settlement negotiations. It also helps to have a qualified Florida car accident attorney to assist you in these negotiations and advise you on when it might be time to file a lawsuit.
Where to Start With FL Car Wreck Statute of Limitations
Any injury related to a car accident can be evaluated by an experienced auto accident attorney who can determine if you have a valid claim and how to go about fighting for compensation.
Different Claims Have Different Statutes of Limitation
Depending on your injury and the nature of your claim, you may have a different statute of limitation. If the case involves minors or defamation, then you may be allowed a longer time limit. If it involves medical malpractice, then a shorter time limit may apply.
“Discovery of Harm”
There is a rule called the “discovery of harm” rule which indicates that the clock on your statute of limitations starts at the moment that you become aware of or should have become aware of the harm that was caused by the accident or injury.
Consider a situation where a surgeon leaves a bandage in his patient’s abdomen during surgery. This is not discovered for many years during another surgery. The patient didn’t know what happened, so could not have the opportunity to do anything about it until the harm was discovered. In this case, the statute of limitations would begin at the time that the harm was discovered, rather than at the time that the mistake occurred, which may have been several years past.
At the same time, there must be a reasonable explanation for the delay in discovery. In the former example, if the patient never sought treatment for ongoing pain, then the ‘discovery of harm’ rule would not apply to that situation. In most injury claims, there is nothing to discover, so this rule will not apply. In some wrongful death cases, it may be applicable to your situation. Call us to find out.
State by State Statutes of Limitations
Each state has their own statute of limitations for each type of claim. Keep in mind that state laws can be revised frequently, so call an attorney to find out what the current statutes of limitations are for your case in your state.
Contact A Florida Accident Attorney
Any time you sustain injuries or losses because of another person’s negligence, you may have a case to recover your damages within the time frame allowed by the statute of limitations for your case. If you aren’t sure about the statute of limitations in your situation, get a free consultation from a personal injury attorney and get all of your questions answered.