If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Florida, it’s important to be aware of the statute of limitations—a legal timeframe within which you must file your personal injury claim. At Flaxman Law Group, we unfortunately often hear from car accident survivors who only start seeking a Florida car accident lawyer after the statute of limitations has passed. In these situations, Florida law does not allow these individuals to seek compensation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is a law that sets a specific time limit for filing a lawsuit after a car accident or other incident occurs. It’s meant to ensure the timely resolution of legal disputes and prevent loss of evidence.
Each state has its own statute of limitations, and in Florida the statute of limitations is four years in most cases, with a few exceptions, according to according to Florida Statutes section 95.11(3)(a). For car accidents resulting in wrongful death claims, families usually have two years from the time their loved one passed.
In Florida, you may also have additional time if your injuries did not become apparent immediately. The discovery rule may apply in these situations, allowing the statute of limitations to start from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered.
Special rules also apply to minors and individuals who are legally incapacitated. The statute of limitations may be tolled, which means it does not begin until they reach a certain age or regain legal capacity.
Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations can mean you lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries. Since there are exceptions and the rules are not always straightforward, consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident to make sure your time to file a claim doesn’t run out.
Protecting Your Rights
As soon as your car accident happens, the clock starts ticking. Taking prompt action protects your rights to fair compensation.
It also allows for the preservation of crucial evidence. Over time, evidence can be lost, memories can fade, and witnesses may become difficult to locate. By acting promptly, you increase the chances of obtaining and preserving essential evidence to support your case.
In addition, witnesses play a crucial role in car accident cases. Acting within the statute of limitations ensures that witnesses can provide accurate and reliable testimony while their memories are still fresh. Waiting too long to file a claim may result in witnesses being unavailable or their recollections being less reliable.
If you fail to file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, the defendant can raise the defense of the expired statute of limitations. This can result in your case being dismissed by the court, effectively barring you from seeking compensation for your injuries. Filing within the required timeframe can help you avoid such situations.
Seek An Attorney’s Advice Today
Many car accident survivors think they have years or months to file a claim, but any delay can harm your chances of getting fair compensation. Evidence starts to disappear right away, so it’s important to contact a car accident claims attorney right away.
To make it easier, the Flaxman Law Group phone lines at 866-352-9626 are staffed by a live person 24/7 who can schedule your free, no obligation consultation with an attorney. Even if your car accident happens in the middle of the night, you can reach someone. You can also contact us online or email accident attorney Charles Flaxman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact us today so we can start building a strong case for you.