The statute of limitations, which is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit, for personal injury in Florida depends on the case type. If you do not bring your injury lawsuit before the time limit expires, Florida law could forever bar you from going after the person whose negligence injured you.
Merely negotiating with the insurance company does not count as filing a lawsuit. There are many factors that can affect how much time you have to file a lawsuit against a negligent party.
Florida’s Statutes of Limitations for Personal Injury Lawsuits
Depending on the situation, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida is usually two, four, or five years. The most common deadline is four years, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
Here are some examples of injury claims that typically have a four-year statute of limitations in our state:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall
- Premises liability
If the victim dies from their injuries, even weeks or months after the incident, the case becomes a wrongful death claim, which has a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the death (Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d)).
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Some Injury Cases Could Have a Shorter Statute of Limitations
You want to be careful about relying on the general rule of a four-year statute of limitations for injury cases in Florida. Some claims must get filed in less than four years.
- You typically have only two years to take legal action on a medical malpractice claim. (Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(b)).
- If you wish to file a civil case against someone for injuries from when they assaulted or battered you, you generally must file that within two years.
- A lawsuit involving a workers’ compensation claim usually has a two-year statute of limitations.
- The deadline for taking legal action on injuries from nursing home abuse is typically two years (Florida Statutes § 400.0236).
- As explained above, a wrongful death case must get filed within two years of the date of death, generally.
- If you suffered harm by a defective or dangerous product, you might have to sue within two years. In some situations, the deadline is four or five years. You should talk with your attorney about which product liability statute applies in your case.
We understand that these rules can be confusing. The best approach is to speak with a personal injury lawyer to find out your filing deadline.
When You Sue the Government for a Personal Injury, the Deadline Can Be Even Shorter
When your claim is against a local, state, or federal government agency, your statute of limitations could be much shorter than in a typical injury claim. You might have only six months or one year to file legal action.
In addition, you might have to exhaust administrative remedies before qualifying to take the government to court. Sometimes, the administrative process must get started within the first 30 days of the incident in question.
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What You Need to Know About Filing Deadlines When Children Get Injured
Florida law prohibits minor children from filing lawsuits in their own name. If a minor child gets injured, for example, in a car accident, a parent can petition the court to take legal action on behalf of the child.
When the child turns 18, he might be able to file an injury lawsuit on his own. The rules involving minor children in injury cases are complex.
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When Does the Clock Start Running in an Injury Case?
Time starts to run on your filing deadline at one of three different points, depending on the circumstances.
- In most injury claims, the statute of limitations starts to run on the date of the injury. For example, a pedestrian who gets struck by a car generally has four years to file a lawsuit, beginning with the date of the collision.
- Sometimes, the harm is not immediately apparent, so the deadline could start to run on the date on which the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the damage. Let’s say that a surgeon accidentally left gauze inside a patient. Although the incident happened on the date of the surgery, the patient might not discover the problem until months later. Also, some conditions like asbestosis take many years to develop after exposure.
- Wrongful death cases usually have a two-year statute of limitations. The deadline starts to run on the date of death, not the date of the injury. If the victim dies on the same day as the accident, the clock starts running. When an injured person dies weeks, months, or longer after the accident, the deadline starts at that point.
As we can see from an injury case that becomes a wrongful death claim, a cause of action could start out with one statute of limitations and convert into a different deadline.
You Should Discuss Your Case With Our Firm As Soon As Possible
The statute of limitations in a case could vary widely. You might have to take certain actions within days of the injury. Getting hurt because of someone else’s carelessness is bad enough; you don’t want to lose the right to hold that person accountable for your losses due to missing a deadline.
Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers dedicate themselves to helping people who get hurt because of someone else’s negligence. Our team can make sure you meet your filing deadline. Call us today at (855) 529-0269 for a free consultation about your case. There is no obligation.
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