The aftermath of a personal injury can be a whirlwind of physical, emotional, and financial challenges. As you navigate recovery and healing, another critical element demands your attention: understanding the deadline for filing a Florida personal injury lawsuit.
In Florida, this timeline is enshrined in the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Missing this deadline can have significant consequences, effectively barring you from seeking legal recourse for your suffering.
This blog delves into the intricacies of the Florida statute of limitations for personal injury claims, equipping you with the knowledge you need to protect your rights and pursue potential compensation.
Don’t wait to contact our personal injury lawyers in Hollywood, Florida for help with your case.
The General Personal Injury Lawsuit Deadline
In most Florida personal injury cases, the clock starts ticking the moment you sustain an injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Signed into law in 2023, House Bill 837 changed the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida. The new law shortens the statute of limitations from four years to two years.
You have two years from that date to file a lawsuit in court. This two-year timeframe applies to a wide range of personal injury claims, including:
- Car accidents: If you’re injured in a collision caused by another driver’s negligence, you have two years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
- Slip and fall accidents: Injuries sustained due to hazardous conditions on someone else’s property come under this window.
- Wrongful death: In tragic cases where someone loses their life due to another’s negligence, the two-year timeframe applies to the deceased’s personal representative.
Exceptions to the Rule: When the Clock Ticks Differently
While the two-year rule holds for most cases, there are a few exceptions where the statute of limitations can be shorter or longer.
- Minors: If a minor is injured, the statute of limitations typically starts running when they turn 18, giving them until they are 22 to file a lawsuit.
- Government entities: When suing a government entity, such as a city or state agency, the victim must first file a notice of claim in writing. If the government agency refuses to pay, you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit and two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Beyond the Deadline: Why Time Matters
The statute of limitations serves a crucial purpose. It incentivizes timely litigation, ensuring evidence remains fresh and witnesses’ memories haven’t faded. It also protects defendants from facing stale claims years after an incident.
Missing the deadline for filing a lawsuit in Florida can have dire consequences. Once the clock runs out, you lose your legal right to compensation. This means you will be unable to hold the responsible party accountable and recover damages for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Steps to Take After an Accident
Understanding the statute of limitations and its nuances is crucial to protecting your rights in the aftermath of a personal injury. Here are some key steps you can take.
- Seek medical attention immediately: This establishes a clear timeline of your injury and its connection to the incident.
- Consult with a qualified personal injury attorney: An experienced attorney can guide you through the legal process, assess the merit of your case, and ensure you meet all filing deadlines.
- Gather evidence: Keep copies of medical records, accident reports, photographs, and any other documentation that supports your claim.
- Act promptly: Don’t delay seeking legal counsel. The sooner you begin building your case, the better your chances of success.
Call Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Today!
Navigating the legal complexities of a personal injury claim can be overwhelming, especially while coping with the physical and emotional burdens of your injury. However, our skilled Florida personal injury lawyers are here to help you seek the compensation you deserve.