In most cases, you have four years from the date of your car accident to claim injury in Florida. This time limit is established by Florida’s statute of limitations, or Florida Statute § 95.11(3)(a). If you are pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, Florida Statute § 95.11(4)(d) only gives you two years to file.
Failing to file a lawsuit in time can prevent you from receiving compensation, even if there is strong evidence in your defense. Few exceptions apply, and various processes, such as negotiations with insurers, can delay your case. The sooner you get started, the better.
Building a Personal Injury Case Takes Time
There are many steps to building a personal injury case, and each one is time-consuming. A lawyer with our firm must investigate your accident, gather evidence, and calculate your damages. They may begin seeking compensation by filing an insurance claim, and settlement negotiations can take a while.
There are also things that you must follow through with, as well. For example, you must see a doctor and receive a diagnosis for your injuries. They may have to refer you to specialists, and it can take time to secure an appointment with each of these medical professionals.
The sooner you begin working on your case, the better you can protect your right to compensation. If you choose to represent yourself, the process may take even longer since you may be unfamiliar with the legal process.
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Potential Damages in a Florida Auto Accident Case
If another driver’s negligence caused your car accident, they may be liable for your injuries. This means they may owe you for both economic and non-economic damages.
If a court determines that a negligent driver caused your accident, you may recover compensation for the following economic damages:
- Ambulance services and emergency room treatment
- Current medical expenses
- Lost wages or earning potential
- Treatment for chronic injuries
- Towing, repair, and replacement costs for your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- And more
In Florida, there is no cap on economic damages in personal injury cases.
Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering and mental anguish. To receive non-economic damages in your Florida car accident case, you may need to demonstrate that the accident caused you to suffer permanent injuries.
There may also be no cap on non-economic damages in certain cases. However, there are specific criteria for non-economic damages being awarded. You typically need documentation from a medical professional to validate that your symptoms are chronic.
Determining Liability for a Car Accident Can Also Be a Lengthy Process
In a car accident case, the driver who is at fault for the accident may be liable for the damages they cause. You will have to prove the at-fault driver acted negligently, such as by violating traffic laws. Examples of negligence on the road include:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failing to yield
- Failing to respect another car’s right of way
- Illegal lane change
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Driving with no headlights on
- Drunk driving
- And more
Insurance adjusters may try to claim you were at fault for the accident. A lawyer with our firm would then conduct an independent investigation to counter these findings. This is another step in the process that takes time.
If You Share Fault for Your Accident
Florida’s comparative fault law may apply in a car accident case. If you are partially responsible for the accident, your compensation may be proportionally reduced. For example, if a judge determines that you are 25% responsible for the accident, the court may reduce your awards by 25%.
Once again, the back-and-forth between insurers and your representative can take longer than expected. You will want to give your case the time it deserves by starting as soon as possible.
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What to Do After a Car Accident
If you are injured in a Florida car accident, there are a few steps you can take to help move your case along. Consider the following:
- See a doctor as soon as possible so they can diagnose your injuries and begin treatment
- Organize any accident reports, photos, or videos you have from the scene of the accident so you can submit them quickly
- Report your accident to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and your insurance company
- Determine how long you have to take legal action according to Florida’s statute of limitations.
You also have the right to secure legal counsel when filing a claim or lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation call (855) 529-0269
Our Legal Services Are Affordable to All
You do not have to wait until you can afford legal services. We can take your case on a contingency-fee-basis with no upfront costs to you. This would allow us to get started on your case immediately. We also offer free consultations so you can get clear on your legal options and deadlines.
Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers Today
If you are wondering about how much time you have left to act, we can discuss your deadline during a free consultation. Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers represents Florida car accident victims, and we want to see how we can help you.
When we handle a case, we work in a timely manner to abide by relevant deadlines. We start working on your case immediately and keep an eye on the statute of limitations during negotiations with insurers. To begin work on your case, Call us at (855) 529-0269.
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