Whether you’ve been injured in car accident, slip and fall or any other incident due to the negligence of someone else, chances are you’ve probably thought about filing a personal injury lawsuit. In Florida, it’s critical that you comply with and understand the statue of limitations for these kinds of cases.
Four years is the standard for Florida personal injury lawsuits according to Florida Statues Section 95.11(3)(a). What this means is that you have four years, typically starting from the date of the accident, to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for “an action founded on negligence.” This includes pretty much all types of personal injury lawsuits, since most are governed by the liability principle of negligence.
But what happens if you miss the filing deadline? The defendant, or person you’re suing, will probably point this out to the court and your case will be dismissed, no matter the significance of your injuries. Remember that the filing deadline is related not only to your appearance in court, but also to your ability to enter into personal injury settlement negotiations with the defendant or their insurance company. After that four-year deadline has passed, you’ve lost all leverage in seeking compensation for your injuries.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, which include if you were temporarily incapacitated by your injury; the defendant left Florida before a lawsuit could be filed; or a defendant took steps to hide or conceal themselves in order to avoid being properly served. These are spelled out in Florida Statues Section 95.051.
If you have questions about how Florida’s Statue of Limitations applies to your potential lawsuit or you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in an accident across South Florida and Southwest Florida, contact the accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys 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.