You must file your personal injury case before the Florida deadline. The words statute of limitations is just a formal way of saying – deadline. If you do not file by the statute of limitations, you will lose rights. You can’t hold another driver accountable for your injuries. You will not be able to seek payment from any liability insurance carrier for pain and suffering, medical bills, or any other damages.
What are the time limits for bringing a claim before the statute of limitation runs?
The time limit for bringing a liability claim depends on whether the victim lived or died. The time limits for any type of case are outlined in the Florida Statutes.
- The personal representative must file a wrongful death claim within two years from the date of the accident. The representative files on behalf of the spouse, children, and other qualifying family members. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of the car accident - if the victim dies on the date of the car accident. If the victim dies days or months after the car accident, then the personal representative can bring wrongful death within two years from the date of the person’s death.
- Living victims can file a claim within four years of the date of the accident. Section 11 (3)(a) of Title 95 of the Florida statutes states that the statute of limitations is four years for “an action based on negligence.” the four-year requirement applies to damage claims. Damages include property damage, economic loss, and non-economic loss.
As an example, a driver who runs a red light injures you. The accident happens on a Florida road on May 25, 2018. You must file your claim by May 24, 2022. If you file it on May 25, 2022, you are too late. If the accident kills you immediately, your estate must file the wrongful death claim by May 24, 2022.
What other considerations affect whether the statute of limitations on a car accident case has run?
Sometimes, a defective design or poor car part manufacture causes a car accident. The statute of limitations for product liability cases is also four years according to section 11 of Title 95 of the Florida Statutes.
The deadline may be extended in a product liability case if the victim didn’t learn of the defect until after the car accident date.
Don’t delay filing a car accident claim
If you have a car accident, see an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t guess at the deadline. The lawyer will know what the statute of limitations/deadline is. As a matter of practice, experienced lawyers will not wait until the last day to file. It’s best to file as soon as possible. Some of the reasons delayed filings, even before the deadline, can hurt your case are:
- You may not have the right defendant. If you need more time to bring a claim against another defendant, that defendant will assert the statute of limitations defense.
- Memories fade. Evidence disappears. Delay hurts your case. It’s best to file as soon as possible.
- The earlier you file your claim; the sooner you’ll get the advice you need.