After an accident or death of a loved one, when the grieving period passes, it may be time to focus on filing a claim against the party responsible for the harm done. If so, it is vital to do so within a specified time.
Florida Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Case
Generally, for a personal injury case, the statute of limitations in Florida is four years. The purpose of the statute of limitations is to preserve relevant evidence and ensure that each party brings their case to court on time. This way, a potential defendant doesn’t have to worry about indefinite litigation.
The filing deadline is crucial to a formal lawsuit and your position in settlement negotiations with the defendant and the insurance company. Plaintiffs who file a claim after the expiration of the statute of limitations will lose their legal right to file suit for compensation.
However, there are numerous exceptions that might toll or extend the statute:
- If the wrongdoer dies during the pendency of a claim,
- If the case arose from homicide or manslaughter, and
- If the other part is a government entity.
These exceptions are complicated, so it is essential to reach out to an attorney and determine whether these exceptions apply to your case.
For this type of claim, the statute of limitations is two years from when the patient either knew or should have reasonably known that a medical error caused their injury.
Medical malpractice claims are additionally subject to what’s known as the statute of repose. The statute of repose disallows any medical malpractice claim more than four years after the date of the incident, even if the plaintiff could not have discovered their claim earlier. The statute of repose can be extended beyond four years if the medical malpractice victim is a child, in which case, you will have until your child’s 8th birthday to file.
Statute of Limitations for Other Common Case Types
The Florida personal injury statute of limitations applies to many other case types, for example:
- Automobile accidents—four years;
- Motorcycle accident—four years;
- Bike and pedestrian—four years;
- Slip and fall—four years;
- Dog bite—four years;
- Construction accident—four years;
- Product liability lawsuit—four years;
- Nursing home abuse—four years.
For automobile, motorcycle, bike, and pedestrian accidents, if the claim is against an uninsured motorist, the statute of limitations may be extended up to five years.
Many other types of cases, including workers’ compensation and boating accident claims, are also subject to the statute of limitations. If your case type is not listed here, your attorney can help you identify the appropriate statute of limitations.
Let Experienced Florida Injury Attorneys Help with Your Case
Statutes of limitations are complicated, so it is best to reach out to an attorney for help. The attorneys at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro are fierce advocates who will handle your case with unmatched diligence. We were voted Tallahassee’s Best Law Firm by Tallahassee Magazine.