What you need to know about the statute of limitations for car accidents in Florida

What you need to know about the statute of limitations for car accidents in Florida

by | Feb 12, 2019 | 0 comments

Did you know that in 2018 there were more than 399,000 traffic accidents in the state of Florida, resulting in more than 215,000 injuries and nearly 3,000 fatalities? So far in 2019, there has already been 24,500 traffic accidents on Florida roads with more than 15,000 people injured and 162 with traffic crash fatalities.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an automobile accident caused by somebody else’s negligence – you might be able to recover damages. But Florida, like all states, limits the amount of time you have to seek compensation. This called the “statute of limitation.”



Basically, it’s the legal term for the amount of time you have to take legal action on something before you are no longer able to according to the law. Statutes of limitations exist for all kinds of cases – everything from criminal offenses to civil actions and these all vary state by state. In personal injury cases like a car accident, the statute of limitations dictates the amount of time you have to sue the responsible party for damages.



In Florida, the statute of limitations varies based on who is being sued and if there was a death as a result of the crash.


  • Personal Injury: Under Florida law, if you want to take legal action against someone for personal injury in an automobile accident, you have four years from the date of the accident in which to file a lawsuit.
  • Wrongful Death: If someone dies in a motor vehicle accident, a wrongful death claim must be filed much quicker than the above personal injury example. Under Florida law, you only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit from the date of the accident.
  • Product Liability: Sometimes car accidents are not the result of another driver, but because of a defective part. In these situations, an experienced personal injury attorney like ours at Weinstein & Cohen would file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the part. If that defective part results in an injury, you have four years in which to file a lawsuit, but if the defective part causes a death, you only have two years in which to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
  • City, County or State Vehicles: Let’s say a driver of a city, county or state vehicle causes a car accident or a poorly maintained roadway leads to a crash, victims can sue the government via a personal injury lawsuit, but only have three years from the date of the accident in order to take legal action.


These are just some examples, of course, with any of these general rules there are many exceptions which could result in even shorter time limits to take action.  The best policy after an accident is to quickly seek legal assistance to avoid having your claim expire before you can take action.



If you are unfortunately involved in a car accident in Florida, please make sure to take the following immediate steps.


  • Seek medical attention
  • Keep detailed records of the crash and your economic loss
  • Do not communicate directly with the other party’s insurance carrier
  • Don’t post about your accident, injuries or recovery on social media
  • Contact an experienced personal injury attorney before the statute of limitations runs out


Each and every accident case is different and will have different types of compensation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen will put your priorities first. If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in an accident due the negligence of others, contact the accident lawyers at Weinstein & Cohen at 239-793-3331 or 305-374-1011, or visit fairnessforall, for an absolutely free and confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.


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