After you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention immediately. However, after you have visited the hospital, you will want to consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. There are time restraints set on when you can and cannot file a lawsuit against someone, so it is vital that you do not delay the legal process. If you are injured in Florida, there are some important deadlines that you will need to keep in mind.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Under the statute of limitations, there is a limitation on the amount of time that is allowed to pass before a lawsuit can be filed. Every state has its own statute of limitations and different offenses have different time restraints.
Statute of Limitations on a Personal Injury Case
For a personal injury case, the time restriction on filing a lawsuit can be anywhere from one to six years, depending on which state you are injured. In Florida you have four years after the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a lawsuit is not filed within this time period, the counts will most likely not hear your case. In the event the case is against your own insurance company, the time limits is expanded to five years. While this may seem like a long time to file charges, you do not want to wait. It may take some time to gather all the necessary evidence, and the longer you wait, the weaker your case could become.
The Discovery of Harm Rule
In some rare causes, it is possible to have the four-year time period extended. Generally, the period of time a person has to file a lawsuit begins after the accident. However, if that a person does not realize they were injured, the clock does not start until they discover they have suffered harm. The discovery of harm rule is most common in medical malpractice cases when a patient does not realize there was an error until years later.
Specific Florida Statutes of Limitation
- Personal injury arising from negligence, i.e., auto accidents, slip and falls, products liability (4 years)
- Boating accidents (anywhere from 2 to 4 years)
- Medical Malpractice Claims (2 years)
- Cruise ships (based on the ticket for the cruise)
Get the Help You Need From the Attorneys Who Care
As you can see, the Statute of Limitation varies depending upon the type and location of the case. It is very important to have legal representation as soon after an accident or incident as is possible to be sure the statute of limitations is not missed. At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., we understand that the legal process can sometimes feel overwhelming. That is why we will be with you every step of the way. Call LMW today for a free consultation on your case.