How Long Do I Have in Florida to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?

There’s a New Law! So How Quickly Do I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?

Accident victims in Florida used to have four years from the time of their injury to assess the full range of the effects and permanent disabilities and to prepare and file a lawsuit seeking recovery. 

Not anymore. 

Lawmakers cut the time period in half. Claims now need to be completely ready and filed in court within two years or victims lose the right to seek any form of compensation. This is a huge change that affects people struggling with past injuries as well as those who suffer injuries in the future. The shorter deadline makes it even more critical to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice as soon as possible after an accident.

New Statute of Limitations Affects All Types of Personal Injury Cases

The deadline to file a lawsuit is referred to as the statute of limitations. The period differs for many different types of civil and criminal cases. Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, and negligence claims are now subject to a two-year statute of limitations.

Negligence claims involve situations where someone is held responsible for injuries not because they deliberately tried to hurt another person but because they injured others by failing to act responsibly. For instance, if someone is texting while driving and they cause an accident, they weren’t acting to cause harm intentionally, but they didn’t live up to their obligation to keep their eyes on the road, so they caused harm negligently. 

The new two-year time limit applies to cases seeking recovery after injuries caused by:

  • Car accidents
  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Bicycle and motorcycle accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Wrongful death
  • Other negligent actions

Accident victims now have only a short period of time to recuperate from injuries, determine the lasting effects of the injuries, collect evidence, and formulate the right claim for damages. 

Your case might require extensive investigations, collecting multiple types of evidence, locating and interviewing a variety of witnesses and determining which other individuals could be involved in causation.These processes alone could consume a significant chunk of the limitations period. You need to be aware that the clock is ticking. 

Florida’s Exceptions and Special Cases

In some situations, an injury case may be subject to a shorter or longer time limit. An experienced personal injury lawyer can determine the deadline in your specific case. 

For instance, if you are dealing with injuries caused by medical malpractice and those injuries are not discovered right away, you may have up to two years from the time you discovered the injuries, rather than two years from the time the injuries were caused. However, there’s an absolute limit of four years. If you don’t discover the harm and file a claim within four years of the time the malpractice occurred, you are barred from recovering compensation, no matter how unfair that may be. 

The Shorter Statute of Limitations is Not the Only Reason You Need to Act Quickly

A sort of “silver lining” to the reduced statute of limitations is that it will hopefully encourage accident victims to seek legal assistance sooner. To preserve your ability to recover compensation after an accident, you need to act quickly, and a knowledgeable attorney can help tremendously with the process. 

  • You need to preserve evidence as soon as possible. Over time, crucial surveillance footage can be lost. Tangible evidence might fade, and essential documents can be misplaced. Immediate action preserves these critical elements.
  • You need to gather witness information as soon as possible. It becomes more difficult to locate witnesses with each passing day, and their memories become less reliable. 
  • You need to get help to protect your rights as soon as possible. Insurance companies will start asking questions and demanding signatures right away trying to trick you into giving up your ability to recover. 

Once you hire an attorney, your legal representative can handle communication on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about what you say. Your lawyer can provide advice about what to do and what to avoid doing so you don’t have to wonder and worry. Your attorney can help collect and preserve evidence to build the strongest possible case. 

Navigating the Maze with The Law Office of Shannon J. Sagan, P.A.

Your path to justice and fair compensation hinges on time. The Law Office of Shannon J. Sagan, P.A., is equipped with the expertise to guide you on this journey, and we are ready to fight to get the results you deserve. To get started on your claim or just ask some questions, reach out to us at 561-DASHCAM. Together, we can make every moment count.

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