What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Case in Florida?
A personal injury refers to bodily injury/harm from an accident. You should not be responsible for footing the expenses if you sustain injuries due to someone else’s recklessness or negligence. You can pursue compensation by filing a legal claim against the at-fault party or entity.
If you have been injured in an accident in Florida, knowing your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation is crucial. One critical factor to consider is the statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Florida. This refers to the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit, and if you miss it, you may lose your right to seek compensation.
How Long Does an Injured Person Have to File a Legal Claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Florida for claims founded on negligence is two years from the date of the accident or injury as per Florida Statute 95.11(3)(a). This means you have two years from the date you got injured to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you fail to file the legal claim within the two-year timeframe, the court may refuse to listen to your case, and you will be barred from seeking compensation for your injuries.
It is always best to consult with a personal injury attorney if you are unsure about the statute of limitations for your case. Florida used to have a four year time frame for personal injury claims, as of March 2023 it has been lowered to two years.
When Does the Clock Start Ticking?
The clock for the statute of limitations starts ticking from the date of the injury or accident. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident on May 1, 2022, you must file a lawsuit by May 1, 2024. Acting quickly after an injury is highly recommended to ensure you have enough time to prepare for a lawsuit.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
While the two-year statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases in Florida, this rule has some exceptions. For instance, if the injury was not discovered immediately, the statute of limitations may be extended under the discovery rule. As such, the clock starts ticking from when the injury was discovered rather than the accident date.
If the defendant flees the state or goes into hiding, or the victim is temporarily incapacitated, such as when in a coma, the court may pause the statute of limitations until the circumstances change. Additionally, if the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended until they turn 18. It is best to consult with a personal injury attorney to determine if an exception to the statute of limitations applies in your case.
Claims Against the Government
If your personal injury claim involves the government or a government entity, different rules and procedures apply. The statute of limitations for claims against the government is usually six months from the date of the accident or injury.
However, you must exhaust all administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit against the government. You must start the administrative process within the first 30 days after the injury or accident.
Why is There a Statute of Limitations in Place?
The statute of limitations ensures that legal claims are filed on time. The deadline prevents the plaintiff from having to litigate a case years after the incident occurred. Moreover, it also ensures that critical evidence remains available and the witnesses’ memories remain fresh.
Why You Should Not Wait to File Your Claim?
Waiting to file a lawsuit can be detrimental to your case. Evidence can be lost or destroyed, and witnesses’ memories may fade over time, making it harder for you to prove your case. Therefore, filing a lawsuit as soon as possible after an injury is crucial.
Speak to an Experienced Vero Beach Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have sustained a personal injury in Florida, do not wait until the statute of limitation almost expires. Contact the experienced Vero Beach personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff today for a free case evaluation at (772) 492-8967. We can guide you through the legal process to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your damages.