What is the personal injury statute of limitations? If you’ve been hurt in an injury accident, you may be wondering about the answer to that question. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit. The time limit is set by each state. It can vary based on the type of case, the specific details of the case, and the state where the case is heard. Our Miami personal injury lawyers discuss the statute of limitations in Florida.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Florida
The personal injury statute of limitations in Florida is four years. That means that you generally have four years from the date of the personal injury accident to start a claim for compensation. You meet the Florida personal injury statute of limitations when you formally file your case in court. The personal injury statute of limitations law in Florida is Florida statute 95.11(3)(a) .
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury in Florida?
The statute of limitations on personal injury in Florida is Florida statute 95.11(3)(a). The law sets a time limit of four years on personal injury claims in the State of Florida. There are extensions available if the victim is a minor or if the claim is not discovered until after the accident occurs.
If the defendant is a government body, the time limit may be shorter, and there may be additional requirements to bring a claim for compensation. However, the general rule is that the statute of limitations on personal injury in Florida is four years.
Is There a Time Limit for Personal Injury Claims in Florida?
Yes, there is a time limit for personal injury claims in Florida. The time limit is the amount of time that you have to formally begin the case. In Florida, the time limit for personal injury claims is four years. The four-year time limit typically starts when the injury occurs.
However, even though there is a time limit for personal injury claims in Florida, there are some circumstances that can extend the time limit. It’s important not to make assumptions about the time limit in your case without speaking with an experienced Florida injury attorney.
What Does the Statute of Limitations Mean?
The time limit that applies to Florida personal injury claims is the time limit to begin the case. Once you begin the case, there isn’t a time limit for how long it takes to complete. For example, the defense can’t just bury you in legal motions and discovery in hopes of making the case run past four years from the date of injury. Even if you meet the filing deadline on the very last day, you’ve met the deadline, and you can pursue your claim in full.
On the other hand, if you miss the deadline by even one day, you may completely miss out on bringing your claim. Although you might have a great case, if you miss the time limit for a personal injury claim, the other side can just ask the court to throw out the case. The defense has to request this kind of dismissal, but they most certainly are going to review the deadline to see if you’ve complied with the statute of limitations. If you miss the time limit and the defense asks for a dismissal, there’s no way to continue with your claim unless you can extend the statute of limitations based on a qualifying circumstance.
How to Extend the Statute of Limitations in a Florida Personal Injury Claim
Several different circumstances might apply to extend the statute of limitations beyond the typical four-year deadline. For example, if you don’t realize at first that you’re injured, that can extend the statute of limitations. In addition, if the victim is a minor, that can make the time limit longer. Here are some ways to extend the statute of limitations in a Florida personal injury claim:
- The defendant flees the state to avoid service of process
- An incapacitated victim can’t file a claim
- Within the state, the defendant hides to avoid getting served
- It isn’t immediately apparent that the victim is injured
- The victim is a minor
Even if the statute of limitations gets extended, there are still some absolute time limits. In many cases, the final limit is seven years from the injury, regardless of the reason for the extension. In addition, if a claim is against the government, the time limit may be shorter than the traditional four years. Of course, each case is unique, and the rules for extending the personal injury statute of limitations are complex. It’s important to speak with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney about the specifics of your case.
Statute of Limitations for Suing
The statute of limitations for suing is an arbitrary time limit for bringing a lawsuit. The purpose of having a time deadline is to encourage parties to bring their claims while the evidence is still fresh, and witnesses are still available. It also allows the parties to have closure about events that occurred in the past.
The statute of limitations for suing is unforgiving. Having a great case alone isn’t grounds to extend the statute of limitations. You’ve either met the deadline, or you haven’t. The statute of limitations for suing is a vital deadline to be aware of for any accident victim that believes that they may deserve compensation under the law.
Beating the Deadline
If you believe that you may have a personal injury claim, the best time to start working on your case is as soon as possible. Be skeptical of any attempts by the other party to stall negotiations on the case, especially if the deadline is fast approaching. It’s important to work quickly to gather evidence in the case. An experienced attorney can help you preserve and build the evidence that you need to win your case.
Contact Our Miami Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Attorneys
We’re experienced Miami personal injury attorneys. When you need to work quickly to beat the statute of limitations, we’re ready to spring into action. We have experience drafting documents quickly to meet deadlines while making a full claim for compensation.
Don’t be a victim twice by missing your statute of limitations. Call us today to begin working on your case.
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.