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Explaining the Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations

When someone is injured because of someone else’s negligence, they often hear that he or she needs to contact a Miami personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation. There are many reasons for this communicated sense of urgency, including the fact that evidence is most easily gathered and organized when it’s readily available and when testimony is fresh in witnesses’ minds.

However, there is another reason that someone who has been injured should contact an experienced Miami personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, and that urgency deals with a reality of Florida law known as the statute of limitations. Below is a brief explanation of this notion.

A Statute of Limitations Is a Time Limit

Basically, a statute of limitations is a time limit within which a Florida personal injury lawsuit must be filed. Generally, this time limit begins to run from the date that the injury occurred, and if someone who has been harmed by someone else files a lawsuit after this time limit has expired, the case will be dismissed as a matter of law even if it’s abundantly clear that the would-be defendant is liable for negligence.

Examples of Florida Statutes of Limitations

There are different time limits attached to different types of Florida personal injury lawsuits. For instance, ‘general’ personal injury lawsuits that include such situations as car accidents carry a four-year statute of limitations. For other Florida personal injury lawsuits that include medical malpractice claims and libel or slander must be filed within two years of the date that the injury was inflicted.

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The Policy behind a Statute of Limitations

There are different reasons that these statutes of limitations exist, and one of them is because the law must be administered fairly for everyone. The longer the time period between the infliction of an injury and the filing of a lawsuit, the less dependable evidence tends to be. In addition, those who could be sued in a Florida personal injury lawsuit deserve to know at some point whether they are going to be sued or not.

Tolling of the Florida Statute of Limitations

While the time limits surrounding these statutes are generally hard and fast, there are exceptions to them. One such exception involves a concept known as tolling. What this basically means is that if a person who has been injured did not discover the injury and could not have discovered the injury until a later date, the statute of limitations will toll, or not begin to run, until the date that the plaintiff either discovered or should have discovered the injury.

As can be seen, anyone who has been harmed by someone else does not serve a positive purpose by waiting to take action. If you or someone you love has been injured by someone else, contact the Miami personal injury lawyers at Bernstein & Maryanoff today to schedule a free initial consultation.