What Are The Statute of Limitations on Florida Personal Injury Claims?
Each state has different laws concerning personal injury and other matters of civil litigation. Unlike some other aspects of the law, there are no federal mandates concerning personal injury or how attorneys and victims pursue compensation for negligence. Instead, each state sets its own rules for how and when a victim of negligence may file a Florida personal injury lawsuit. Knowing these laws can make the difference between seeking compensation for your injuries, and losing legal grounds in your case.
First, it’s important to note that each state has its own specific filing deadlines for personal injury. This is called the “statute of limitations.” When you sustain an injury in an accident, each state gives you a certain amount of time to hire a personal injury attorney and formally file an action with the local court system.
Florida’s statute of limitations is more forgiving than most. In this state, you have four years from the date of the accident that led to injury to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time frame, the courts will likely refuse to hear you case entirely. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. There are rare instances in which you might not find out about the injury or harm for a long time after the incident. An example might be developing mesothelioma following negligence at a construction site, as this disease can take decades to manifest.
The Importance of Seeking Immediate Help
Though you may have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit, it’s still important to seek advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident. Sometimes, the symptoms of an injury can take weeks or even months to fully manifest. Additionally, civil litigation can take months, even years, to accomplish, especially if the case goes to trial. Getting a head start will reduce the amount of time you spend waiting for fair compensation for your injuries.
Filing Deadlines Against the Government
Another compelling reason to seek immediate help is that sometimes you may have a shorter time to file a lawsuit. Lawsuits against the government have very strict filing deadlines, and the statute of limitations could be as little as six months. If you sustain injury on municipal property like a bus or uneven city sidewalk, it’s essential to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Medical malpractice also has a unique statute of limitations in Florida. When a healthcare provider fails to follow an established standard of care, and you suffer harm as a result, you may be entitled to collect compensation for your injuries. Florida has a unique time limit for these kinds of cases. The state code allows victims of malpractice to file suit up to two years after discovering an injury, or four years after the malpractice occurred.
In other words, it’s essential to meet with a personal injury attorney following an accident or injury. Failing to comply with filing deadlines may result in your case being thrown out.