Every state has laws that limit the time to file a lawsuit. These laws are generally known as statutes of limitations. These limits vary according to the cause of action upon which the lawsuit is being brought. The statute of limitations on a slip and fall claim in Florida (Statute §95.11) requires that these claims must be filed within four years of the date of the alleged offense. Contact our offices at (855) 529-0269 as soon as possible to see if Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers can help you start the process.
Effects of the Statute of Limitations on Florida Slip and Fall Claims
Florida’s statute of limitations on a slip and fall claim restricts the time for which a negligence (Statute § 768.0755) lawsuit may be commenced to four years. The purpose of these statutes is to establish uniformity and fairness among litigants by balancing the interests of all parties involved. If too much time passes after a cause of action arises, prejudice may affect a just resolution to the claim.
For example, after a certain amount of time passes, evidence may become too attenuated, and witnesses’ memories may fade. The statute of limitations has the effect of preventing undue prejudice to both sides by deterring plaintiffs from waiting too long to pursue their claims.
You Generally Have a Deadline of Four Years – But There Are Exceptions
If a slip and fall claim that arose in Florida is not filed within four years of the date that the cause of action occurred, the claim may be permanently barred from court. Accordingly, the statute of limitations on a slip and fall claim is a common defense raised by defendants and their insurers in such cases.
If the statute of limitations runs out on your claim, this will also affect your ability to negotiate a settlement. Once your legal standing is lost, you will no longer have leverage in settlement negotiations.
Fortunately, this rule is not absolute. The statute of limitations on a slip and fall claim is only one of the many considerations involved when bringing an action for negligence in Florida. Do not let a statutory expiration be the ultimate result of your claim. Call us today at (855) 529-0269 for a case evaluation.
How Chalik & Chalik May Help Advance Your Claim
There are some limited exceptions to the four-year limit imposed by the statute of limitations. For example, if an injury was not reasonably discoverable until months or years after the injury was inflicted, the court may take this into consideration in the event that a statute of limitations defense is raised.
However, most slip and fall injuries are immediately discoverable. If the court determines that you knew or should have known about the injury on the date the injury was sustained, the statute of limitations will begin to run on that date, no matter how extensive your injuries may be. The court may also consider other events which may have affected your opportunity to file a timely lawsuit, such as:
- You were mentally or physically incapacitated by your injury.
- The defendant is absent from Florida.
- The defendant has concealed themselves to avoid service of process.
- The defendant otherwise caused undue delays.
If the court finds that substantial justification exists, the court may toll (Florida Statute §95.051) the statute of limitations and allow your lawsuit to move forward. The exception relating to mental or physical incapacity is limited to seven years by statute. Even this exception does not provide you with an unlimited amount of time to commence your claim. Your claim must be still be filed promptly.
If your Florida slip and fall claim qualifies, we will file a timely lawsuit on your behalf to be sure that the statute of limitations does not affect your right to pursue compensation. If your ability to file suit was delayed or prevented in some way through no fault of your own, we will request that the court toll the four-year limit to avoid undue prejudice against your right to fight for compensation.
If the deadline for your claim is approaching or has past, and you would like to know more about how the statute of limitations is affecting your Florida slip and fall claim, call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers now at (855) 529-0269 for a free and confidential consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call (855) 529-0269