Personal injury claims in Florida are governed by the Florida Statute of Limitations. These laws dictate how long an individual has to pursue legal action and file a lawsuit for personal injury. If you are involved in a personal injury case such as a slip-and-fall case, auto accident, or pedestrian accident, you have a specific time limit to file a claim.
How long is the Florida Statute of Limitations?
Florida’s Statute of Limitations is four years after the date of the accident in most cases based on negligence. If you were injured in February 2021, then you have until February 4, 2025, to bring a claim for personal injury. The following are examples of cases that fall within the four-year limit:
– Cases of Slip and Fall
– Auto accidents
– Premises liability
– Motorcycle accidents
– Pedestrian accidents
– Dog bites
You will not be able to sue for your incident after the statute of limitations has expired.
Can The Statute Of Limitations Be Extended Or Shortened Beyond The General Four (4) Years?
There are some cases where the four-year rule for personal injury suits is extended or shortened. This may be the case when:
– The Statute of Limitations can be shortened in civil injury cases where negligence is not involved. The Statute of Limitations in these cases is two (2) years.
– The Statute of Limitations can be shortened in other situations, such as when you are bringing a lawsuit against the abuse of nursing homes. This is usually two (2) years, and the same goes for wrongful deaths.
– In cases of dangerous or defective products, there is a Statute of repose that requires the victim to bring a product liability claim within 12 years after the date of manufacture or sale. The injured victim is required to file a lawsuit in accordance with the general four-year statute of limitations or two years after the accident or incident if the claim involves wrongful death.
It is important that you understand these complex rules to make sure you file your case within the correct timeframe. It’s always a good idea to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. This will ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines, and that your rights are protected.
Possible Exceptions: Medical Malpractice Statutes & Sexual Abuse Statutes
The court can make an exception in cases where the plaintiff was not aware of their injury immediately. This could be the case if an instrument was left in a patient and was discovered months later. In such cases, an individual may be able to make a claim as the Statute of Limitations begins when the injury is discovered.
If a minor has been sexually abused, Florida PIP Statutes will extend indefinitely to the minor if he or she is younger than 16. Other than that, the statute of limitations can be extended for up to seven (7) years after the victim turns 18 or after four (4) years since they no longer depend on the defendant. The victim also has to file a suit within four (4) years of discovering a connection between the abuse and a related injury.
How to Determine the Start of the Clock in a Personal Injuries Case?
In general, the Statute of Limitations begins on the date of the injury. A plaintiff may lose their right to compensation if they file their claim after this deadline. In some cases, victims are unaware of their injuries until long after the event.
Florida courts can decide to start the clock on the statute of limitation clocking at the discovery date, rather than the actual date of the injury, in cases such as medical malpractice and sexual abuse.
The courts can “toll” the statute of limitation in cases where circumstances make it impossible for the case to proceed. This could happen if a defendant fled the jurisdiction, there was a natural catastrophe, or the plaintiff became temporarily incapacitated.
In wrongful-death cases that have a normal two (2) year statute of limitations, it is important to note that the clock starts on the date the death occurs. It could be a few weeks, months, or even years after the accident. However, if the victim dies on the date of their injury, then the clock starts. The 2-year rule does not affect the four-year statute of limitations for general wrongful death claims.
Contact An Experienced Attorney Today To Discuss Your Case!
It can be difficult to navigate the Florida Statute of Limitations when it comes to personal injury cases. You must know when the statutes of limitations begin to run down so you don’t lose your right to compensation. Our team at The Black Law Company can help if you’ve been injured by someone else due to their negligence. Our team has handled hundreds of personal injury claims and helped people like you get the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation to learn how we can assist you.
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