Has your loved one suffered from a car accident? Are you aware of when to file a case, and what is the statute of limitations when such an incident happens in the Florida region?
In this blog, we have covered all about it. So let’s get started and learn more about how to handle such cases.
How Long Before Your Car Crash Case Expires?
Car crashes can sometimes be inevitable. Even if you drive with the utmost caution, accidents can happen because of someone else’s negligence. Such incidents demand immediate action and can fetch monetary compensation for your loss. But these come with their own set of rules and laws.
The state of Florida entitles people to file a personal injury claim if they have suffered injuries or other losses in a car accident caused due to some other negligent individual or party. However, the state limits the timeframe for the injured individual to file a claim.
If you are a victim of an accident caused by another party’s recklessness, you must know about the laws and your rights to file a lawsuit. First, consult a Tampa auto accident attorney to learn about the statute of limitations provision that applies to your case. This would help you take the necessary action at the appropriate time and receive the financial damages you deserve.
What are “Statutes of Limitations”?
A statute of Limitations is a set of laws determining the time plaintiffs have to file a lawsuit in a negligent car accident case. Every state has its statute of limitations rules. The timeline to file lawsuits for various civil and injury claims also varies according to the different states and circumstances of the case.
Usually, the clock starts ticking from the moment the accident occurs. However, in some exceptional cases, it starts from the date or time the injury came to light. So, you must know the deadlines as per your state to file a lawsuit before the claim expires. Understanding these time constraints enables you to seek justice and protect your legal rights.
The statute of limitations is relevant in law as it ensures victims get their rightful justice. For example, to build a strong car accident claim case, you must collect the evidence and witness testimonials immediately to keep them from deteriorating over time. Acting statute limitations also safeguard the legal rights of all parties involved by accelerating the resolution of such disputes.
Florida Car Crash Deadlines
Florida’s statute of limitations varies according to different car crash cases. Usually, the state entitles car crash victims to take legal action within four years of the date of the accident. However, the deadline can be different as per the reasons and consequences of the accident. Moreover, there are a few exceptions where the state gives a special extension.
The following is the timeframe to file a lawsuit for respective situations:
Personal Injury lawsuits: Florida’s law for a personal injury case involving a car accident requires you to pursue legal action in court within four years from the date of the accident. The court won’t consider your case if you fail to meet this deadline. You would no longer have the legal right to seek compensation for your damages.
Wrongful Death: If someone from your family passes away from injuries in a car accident, you can take legal action on their behalf and file a wrongful death lawsuit. According to Florida’s statute of limitations, the deceased’s family must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of their loved one’s death to receive justified claims.
Product liability lawsuits: Sometimes, a car accident occurs due to a defective or malfunctioning auto part, such as faulty tires or brakes. In such instances, the manufacturer is held responsible, and the personal injury lawyer seeks compensation from them. If the defect causes injury, you can file a claim within four years. But if it leads to death, the legal action of filing a claim must be taken within two years.
Exceptions to Statute of Limitations
Even though Florida clearly states its statute of limitations for car crash cases, there are still a few exceptions to these deadlines. These include:
Government or Federal Agencies: While the time limit to file a lawsuit is usually extended, here it is shortened. In cases where any government or federal entity is involved, the time limit is reduced. In such circumstances, a lawsuit must be filed within three years, after which the case is not considered in court.
Involvement of Minors: Florida sometimes extends the timeframe in car accident cases involving a minor. However, this is only done in exceptional situations, and the timeline varies according to the severity of the case.
False representation: In cases where the defendant assumes a false identity to avoid the lawsuit, the court extends the timeline until the actual person is found.
Catastrophic Injuries: If the victim suffers severe injuries, whether mental or physical, it could make them incapable of filing a lawsuit. In such cases, Florida allows an extension of seven years to pursue legal action.
Mentally Incompetent: The state also extends the timeframe if the victim is deemed mentally incompetent. However, it is not extended indefinitely.
Delay in Discovery: Florida has a discovery rule that applies in case the victim is not aware of or diagnosed with the injuries immediately. The state may extend the statute of limitations to some extent for such cases.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Law Firm
Legal processes can be intimidating because of their complex nature. Moreover, the trauma from the accident and the stress of recovering from injuries add to the complexity, making it difficult to take the required legal actions. Thus, consulting an experienced Tampa accident lawyer is recommended.
It takes time to collect evidence and build a case, even if the claim is genuine. A complicated case demands more time than a regular one, which would make an attorney take longer to investigate and gather evidence. So, if you or anyone you know suffered from a car accident caused by negligence, immediately consult a personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
We at Coleman Law Group assist you throughout the legal process. Our experienced attorneys understand Florida’s law and ensure the timely filing of the lawsuit within the state’s car accident statute of limitations. With our team by your side, you can be sure of getting the rightful compensation you deserve.