Before considering what the statute of limitations is for personal injury in Florida, it is important to understand exactly what personal injury is. By definition, personal injury is a legal way of describing the injury that a person suffered to their body as a result of some sort of accident. It is very common for personal injuries to occur as a result of car accidents.
If you happened to be involved in an accident because of a negligent driver and you decide to pursue legal action against that other driver, you must do it within four years from the date when the accident occurred. To be even clearer, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file within four years, you will not be allowed to file a lawsuit.
Are there any exceptions to the four-year rule?
There are some exceptions to this rule. One exception is if your injuries did not present themselves right away. In that case, the clock starts ticking when you first discover your injuries from the accident. If the other driver happens to be a part of the government, you may have as few as six months to file your lawsuit. If that is the case, you will want to get everything in order as quickly as possible after the accident.
Although it is essential for you to be aware of the statute of limitations, you shouldn’t wait to file your lawsuit. You should probably file as quickly as you can after the accident has occurred. It is not like you can just file and your lawsuit is heard in court. There is a lot of work that you will need to do to prepare for your day in court.
What will I need to do to prepare for my lawsuit?
When preparing for your personal injury lawsuit, you will need to gather a lot of evidence and other relevant information, which will need to be gone through with a fine-tooth comb before you file your personal injury claim. The sooner you start to prepare, the less crunched for time you will be as the court date approaches.
Different types of incidents can lead to a personal injury claim, such as the following:
- Car accident: If you have been in a car accident, you will have four years from the date that the accident occurred to file your personal injury claim. The claim includes personal injury and property damage.
- Slip-and-fall accidents: If you have been injured as a result of a slip-and-fall accident, you have four years from the date that the accident occurred to file your claim. This claim includes premises liability claims against owners of private property as well as claims against public businesses.
- Criminal acts: If you have been the victim of a physical crime (such as being mugged or attacked physically), you have the right to file a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations is also four years for that.
Are there additional exceptions to the Florida statute of limitations?
There are some additional exceptions to the Florida statute of limitations for personal injury. They are the following:
- Incapacitation: If you have suffered a personal injury in an accident, depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to file a personal injury claim right away because you may have been rendered incapacitated. If that is true, you may be allowed to delay the statute of limitations and you will be allowed seven years from the date that the accident occurred to file your personal injury claim.
- If you were a minor: If the accident occurred when you were under age 18, you may be allowed an extension of up to seven years. If your age is close to 18 at the time of the accident, the four-year statute of limitations period will begin on your 18th birthday.
- If the negligent person leaves the state after the accident: If this is the case, you may be able to delay the statute of limitations until you have been able to find the other person.
- If the government is involved: If the accident was caused by a person who works for the government or a government agency is responsible for your personal injury, you will only have three years to file your claim and there is a limit on the amount of damages that you are able to claim.
Solid advice from a Florida personal injury lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident and have suffered a personal injury, you will probably need and want to go after the person or entity that was responsible for what happened to you. The experienced advice of a Florida personal injury lawyer may make a tremendous difference to the outcome of your case.
If you decide to go after the negligent person, you are not only seeking compensation for your physical injuries but you are also seeking compensation for your emotional injuries. The lawyer can help you to regain your confidence and peace of mind, knowing that the responsible party will pay for what they did so that you can look to a bright future.