Statute Of Limitations English

How Long Do You Have to Sue? Statute of Limitations in Florida

In every state, there are time limits for the filing of lawsuits and other civil actions called “statutes of limitations.” Florida’s civil statute of limitations laws are largely in line with those of other states. Florida, like all states, limits the amount of time you have to seek compensation from the parties who harmed you or your loved one through its statute of limitation.

The statute of limitations is a law passed by the legislature that determines how long from the date a claim accrues that a person or business has to file the claim in court. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to ensure that lawsuits are brought within a reasonable time frame. Potential defendants should be put on notice that they might have committed some harm against another party, but not have a legal matter hanging over their head indefinitely.

On the other hand, plaintiffs must decide whether or not to press a lawsuit in a timely matter. The Florida statutes of limitation applicable to car accident cases vary based on who is being sued and whether or not the crash resulted in death.

Here’s a brief overview:

Car Accident Claims

Under Florida law, plaintiffs who want to take legal action based on negligence, a component in most personal injury cases, must file a lawsuit within four years of the date of the car accident. A court will refuse to hear an injury case after four years, unless there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant an exception.

Wrongful Death Claims

When a loved one dies in a motor vehicle accident or from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, family members or a personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim against the allegedly liable party. Eligible family members must take action quickly because the statute of limitation for wrongful death lawsuits under Florida law is two years after the passing of a loved one.

Car Accident Claims Against the Government

In cases where a driver in a city, county, or state vehicle causes an accident, or poorly maintained roads lead to a car accident, victims may sue the government in a personal injury lawsuit. Under Florida law, victims have three years from the date of the accident to take legal action against a government entity.

Product Liability Claims

Sometimes car accidents are caused by defective cars or defective car parts like tires or brake pads. In these situations, personal injury attorneys may seek compensation from the manufacturer via a product liability lawsuit. When a defect results in injury, a four-year statute of limitation applies. However, in the event a defective car or car part results in death, the two-year statute of limitation for wrongful death suits applies.

While a statute of limitations may declare that a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within a certain amount of time after an accident or injury, that time period usually does not begin to run until the claim “accrues.” A claim accrues under Florida law when the last element constituting the cause of action occurs. This is the moment when the person filing suit knew or should reasonably have known that they had suffered harm, and the nature of that harm.

What if the Statute of Limitation Runs out on My Car Accident Claim?

If you try to file a personal injury lawsuit for your car accident claim after the statute of limitation window has closed, the defense will move to dismiss the case based on your late filing. One of the aforementioned exceptions may offer good cause for the court to hear your case, but many times the court won’t hear the case. Once the court dismisses your case, you are barred from seeking damages for your injuries regardless of fault, negligence, or the strength of your claim.

Hiring an experienced car accident attorney soon after your accident is the best way to make sure that you don’t run into timing issues and miss out on recovering compensation that you deserve. If you are concerned about when a claim accrues or whether the statute of limitations has run on a potential claim against you or your loved one, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Suarez & Montero! Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a FREE Consultation!