Sometimes, when you have been in an accident, the injuries you sustained do not present themselves until later or go unnoticed for a period of time. Does this mean you can still file a personal injury claim, even though time has passed since the accident? The answer to that question is’¦it depends. Every state has laws that limit the length of time allowed between an injury occurring and filing a civil suit, known as the statutes of limitations. These time limits may vary based on the type of personal injury claim.
Statutes of limitations are established by states
A statute of limitations is a legal rule that establishes time limits for filing a legal claim that stems from accident or an injury. Individual states establish their own statutes of limitations and claims must be filed in the civil court within this specific time frame. Lawsuits that are not filed within this legal time limit will be barred and the injured person loses their right to sue at any time in the future.
Florida statute of limitations for personal injury claims
Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims provides that the injured party has four years from the date an accident occurred to file a lawsuit in the civil court of the state. Failure to file the claim within this four year time frame will likely result in the court’s refusal to hear the case. While unusual, in certain circumstances, the individual that was harmed may not actually ‘discover’ that they suffered harm for a period of time after the accident that caused the injury. In this instance, the four year statute of limitations could be extended by the court. Furthermore, in situations where the injury is suffered by a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin until that individual reaches 18 years of age.
While this statute of limitations applies to the majority of personal injury claims, it does not apply to all personal injury claims. Lawsuits that seek compensation for injuries that are the result of medical malpractice are covered by another statute of limitations. And personal injury claims against the government follow special time limit rules.
Consequences of filing after the deadline
If the statute of limitations has passed, the injured party is generally prohibited from filing a personal injury claim. The consequence of this is that the individual who was harmed has then lost the opportunity to recover any damages from the injury they sustained.
Injured in an accident due to negligence? Get the compensation you deserve
In the aftermath of an accident, your focus is on your recovery and it is easy to lose sight of how much time has passed since you suffered harm. The statute of limitations is a critical deadline that must be heeded in order to recover any compensation for your injuries. Let us help. At Ged Lawyers, LLP, our accident attorneys have extensive experience navigating Florida’s personal injury laws, with a track record of successfully recovering just compensation for our clients. We are available to answer your questions, explain the personal injury claims process, and discuss your options. Contact our office at 844-443-3529 or online to schedule a free case review to discuss your situation.