You’re having a good day. Then the worst happens — you’re hurt in an accident through no fault of your own. In an instant, your life is turned upside down.
In the aftermath of an accident, you may be wondering whether it’s worth your time to file a legal claim against the at-fault party. It certainly could be. But keep in mind that Florida has deadlines to file a personal injury claim. These are called the statutes of limitations.
Many accidents fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. Motor vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, wrongful death, and defective product cases are all types of personal injury claims. Yet the time limits to file vary significantly and can be riddled with exceptions.
The best way to find out the statute of limitations for your claim is by talking to a Florida personal injury lawyer at Brooks Law Group. For general information, continue reading below.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Matter?
It’s essential to pay attention to the statute of limitations. If you fail to file by the deadline, you will likely forfeit your right to compensation forever. That’s true no matter how valid your claim may be.
Remember that there are exceptions to the rules. That’s why it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
What are the Different Statutes of Limitations in Florida?
Motor vehicle accidents — 4 years from the date of the crash. Extended to 5 years for uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims.
Personal injury — 4 years from the date of the accident or the date by which the injury was discovered (or reasonably should have been discovered).
Defective products/product liability — 4 years from the date of injury if the accident was not fatal.
Slip and fall — 4 years from date of injury.
Premises liability — 4 years from date of injury except in cases of death, where the statute of limitations is reduced to 2 years.
Medical malpractice — 2 years from the act that caused the injury or the date the injury was discovered, but no more than 4 years from the act that caused the injury. There are other exceptions.
Wrongful death — 2 years
Exceptions and Tolling
In some cases, the personal injury statute of limitations may be suspended, or “tolled.” Tolling could be possible if:
- The injured party is under 18.
- The victims or mentally incapacitated with no guardian to initiate proceedings on his/her behalf.
In both of these instances, victims must still file a lawsuit within 7 years of the date of injury. Medical malpractice cases also have other exceptions, so speaking with a lawyer is critically important in these cases.
Other scenarios where tolling may be appropriate is if the at-fault party has fled the state, in which case the clock won’t start ticking until he/she returns to Florida.
Learn When the Clock Starts Running for Your Case!
Need help figuring out the statute of limitations for your claim? Call or contact the personal injury lawyers in Florida at Brooks Law Group for a free consultation. We’ll get started on your claim right away and put you on the path to the compensation you deserve.