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Have you or a family member been injured due to a negligent individual or party in a car accident?  You may be eligible for financial compensation under Florida law.  However, it is crucial to understand that in Florida, the right of the injured party to file a lawsuit is time-restricted. To recover the financial damages you deserve, you need to understand which statute of limitations provision applies to your case and take the correct steps at the right time. In most situations, you have four years from the time of your accident to start your lawsuit against the at-fault driver in Florida.  If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you only have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

What are Statutes of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit on your right to bring a lawsuit. Victims of car accidents in Florida have limited time to file a civil suit before their injury claim expires.  Specific timelines are also designated depending on the civil lawsuit and injury claim type.  Failure to file your claim on time could result in your lawsuit or claim being dismissed by a judge.

These limitations exist for numerous reasons.  Time has a way of distorting facts about the accident and what events occurred during those critical moments.  Witness statements and evidence must be collected and evaluated promptly as well.  Evidence collected and allowed to deteriorate over time can cause a decline in justice being served.  These limitations intend to ensure that consideration of the evidence by a jury is fair.

These statutes of limitations also ensure that the rights of all parties are protected.  Passing the time works for the defendants and against the plaintiffs.

              Statutes for filing claims and lawsuits

These situations have mitigating circumstances, including how severe your accident was and your insurance policy.  Most insurance policies will expect you to inform them of your accident within 24 hours.  It could be worded “as soon as possible.”  When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, you will have four years from the date of your accident. Always consult a car accident attorney when filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Personal Injury Lawsuits: Under Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims, a plaintiff must initiate their lawsuit within four years of the accident. If this deadline is not met, it can result in a court refusing to hear your case.  An exception could be made if you can successfully argue that there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant that exception.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits: A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed if someone passes away due to accident injuries. Florida’s statute of limitations requires that those families file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of that loved one’s death.

  Product Liability Lawsuits: Car accidents can be caused by defective vehicles or parts.  In these cases, one may seek compensation from a manufacturer.  If these defects result in injury, the statute of limitations is four years.  If those defective items result in death, the statute of limitations is two years for wrongful death.

Florida’s statute of limitations for claims and lawsuits clearly outlines the deadlines for taking legal action. Contact Sean King for your personal injury consultation. Please see our list of resources for more information regarding Florida’s statute of limitations.

 

Florida Statute of Limitations – Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)

Florida Highway Patrol –  https://www.flhsmv.gov/florida-highway-patrol/

Lee County Sheriff’s Dept. – https://www.sheriffleefl.org/

Naples Police Dept. – https://www.naplesgov.com/police