By its very definition, a statute of limitations legally sets the maximum time to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged wrongdoing, be it civil or criminal. In most cases, statutes of limitations apply to civil cases, and the length of time it allows for a victim to bring legal action against the suspected wrong-doer can vary from one jurisdiction to another.
What does Florida’s statute of limitations specify in cases of personal injury?
Under Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases, the time you have to file a lawsuit in Florida’s civil courts is four years from the date of the accident. If you don’t take any action and don’t file your case within this time window, the court will most likely refuse to hear your claim at all.
Is there no flexibility to this time window?
There is, simply because in some cases you may not realize or discover that you have suffered some harm or been injured in some way until a certain amount of time has gone by. Meaning that in some cases this time frame can be extended.
On the other hand, some circumstances call for an even shorter window. For example, when you are filing a lawsuit against the state or local government of Florida. In these cases, you only have to years to present your claim in court.
Do medical malpractice suits have to follow this time frame as well?
In cases of medical malpractice in Florida, you have only two years from the day you discover the injury or four years from when the actual malpractice occurred. This means that if you happen to discover the injury more than four years after it happened, you will be unable to present your case in court.
Are there no exceptions?
The only exception would be in cases where the medical provider fraudulently concealed that the malpractice took place. In these cases, the statute of limitations indicates that you have two years from when the injury is finally discovered or seven from when the event of malpractice took place.
Are there steps you can take to help your personal injury case?
In order for your case to be successful, you must prove that someone was careless, or negligent and that this carelessness is what caused your injury. If it’s at all possible, and the injury is recent, move quickly to preserve the evidence. How?
- Write down everything you can remember about the incident
- Collect names and contact information of any witnesses
- Report the incident to the authorities, be them animal control for a dog bite or the local police for a car accident
- Take pictures of any visible injuries and any damages to your property
If you have suffered a personal injury, contact https://www.abercrombie.com/ to get in touch with a Florida personal injury attorney and find out if you have a valid claim against whoever injured you. Do this prior to making any statements, written or verbal, to insurance companies or their representatives.
Many personal injury lawyers will accept cases on a contingency basis, and will not ask for any fees up-front. They will only take a percentage of any proceeds that are collected. This way they will be fully motivated to work hard for you.