As a negligence accident victim, you will be forced to handle an enormous financial challenge in the form of medical bills, property damage, and much more. The emotional toll of such events is also mounting and it takes great resolve and courage to face such situations head-on.
Accidents are frequent on the streets of Florida, and thus the laws intended to offer financial compensation to those involved are also pretty solid.
However, as with all other states, the Florida statute of limitations is applicable to prevent the misuse of the law.
Apart from automobile crashes, cases like medical malpractice, other forms of professional malpractice, violation of your safety rights, battery, and so on fall under the terms of such limitations time period rules as well. So do lesser felonies (but not a capital felony or other major felony violations) in criminal prosecution cases.
Experienced lawyers will tell you that you should not delay matters beyond the statute of limitations and instead get to work immediately. The faster you move, the better your chances will be at securing decent compensation in a negligence automobile crash case.
The Florida four-year statute of limitations is meant to ensure complete fairness in all legal actions and to protect the defendant against personal vendettas and blackmail from a plaintiff. Hate to say it, but such malpractices within the legal framework are not unheard of.
Thus the statutes of limitations have been set in place across the USA, including in Florida, to keep legal matters clean.
Generally speaking, the Florida state law is meant to protect everyone involved and yet it brings all to accountability. It may sound paradoxical but it is not: while bringing matters to the court is your right, you must ascertain that you do so within your legal rights.
The statute of limitations is one such boundary: in the event of a personal injury case, victims only have a four-year statute limit to file a petition for their accident injury claims in courts. While you can make use of exceptions demanding extensions in special cases, you must abide by this time limit and not go beyond the deadline.
If you fail to submit your case within this time frame, your application will be most likely rejected. Delayed cases are usually seen with suspicious eyes in the legal world because such ghost cases are usually meant to serve underlying purposes and are mostly not-genuine, or at best, only partly genuine.
Moreover, as time progresses, the defendant’s ability to present evidence supporting their narrative will be compromised because the evidence may be lost over time or be subject to degradation.
This, of course, does not apply for certain cases such as those involving serious felony crimes like life felonies and other offenses that carry the death penalty; they don't fall under the Florida statutes for time limits.
Across all states, including Florida, the statutes of limitations have some common/similar features:
The best practice in this matter, as proposed by lawyers and legal experts is to avoid unnecessary delays and get straight to business. Although your case may demand an extension due to exceptional situations, but you should not procrastinate.
Gather your courage, contact experienced car accident lawyers, build a solid foundation for your negligence accident case and then get to work. The idea here is to strike fast and get maximum compensation. You should keep tabs on your financial drains and your sufferings because both will become important factors for winning your rightful compensation.
Injuries like blunt brain trauma, bone fractures, spine injuries, soft tissue injuries, and so on are pretty common in Florida accident cases. Whatever injuries and property damage you had to deal with, note them down and be sure to provide compelling proof to support your narrative.
Marching down to the insurance company’s office on your own is never recommended when handling automobile crash injury cases in Florida because the insurance adjuster will try to downplay your sufferings and get off with paying you less than what you deserve.
This is both unfair and inconsiderate but it happens.
If you find yourself dealing with such unfairness, you should step out of the settlement negotiations, without saying anything that can be held against you, and file a petition for your personal injury lawsuit in a Florida court of law.
Your lawyer may also press on a potential claim in tort to win you punitive damages if the accident was severe.
Considering the complexity and variability of the procedure (with the civil statutes of limitations in application), there is no room for delay.
Right from the moment of an accident, the injured person has a four-year statute limit to file a petition for fair compensation, this is the applicable time period. This period of time will be relative to the date of the accident and can be extended under certain conditions. It is a pretty reasonable time frame and is constant for almost all personal injury cases, even those that involved a wrongful death.
Automobile accidents involve offenders in cars, and if that is the case, you can expect a 1-year extension of time. In some cases, if the at-fault person leaves the state, the time-lapse will be paused until the said person returns to the state. This is a bit tricky to prove but it's nothing that a private investigation won't help uncover.
The statutory time limit will be even lesser if you're planning on filing a claim against a government entity, so there's no time to waste.
Florida personal injury lawyers recommend that you waste no time and file your claim as soon as you’re feeling better. Some people delay these matters either because they’re willing to settle for whatever the insurance company offers (even these settlement negotiations can drag on).
Others are deterred by the thought of having to pay lawyers for their services which seems challenging enough considering the financial state of a victim after such an accident. But there is nothing to be worried about because most professional personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis meaning that they won’t charge you a penny until you’ve won your claim.
And, you won’t owe them money if you don’t win.
Apart from the aforementioned exceptions demanding the deadline be pushed further ahead, you have other reasons to demand an extension as well. These exceptions may come as a welcome respite to someone who failed to file a lawsuit on time.
The first one is the discovery rule.
If something new comes to light, anything at all, that shifts the angle of the case, then it can be used as a basis to demand a review of the case. For instance, if a previously unknown party was involved in the case, you can request an extension in the personal injury statute limit.
Similarly, the victim may not have known the extent of the damages sustained due to an accident or may not have established a solid correlation between problems that emerged later and the accident even if the latter caused those problems. Thus, if any new input makes the case worth reviewing, you can expect an extension in the time limit, applicable from the time of discovery.
Such redirections often happen in medical malpractice cases and car accident scenarios.
Moreover, an accident case involving a child, a mentally ill individual, or a disabled person can also be given an extension in the statutory time limit.
Even if the time limit passed by and you did not file your case in time, do seek legal counsel because there may be some way out.
Many accident victims believe that these statutes are unfair to them and are meant to limit their options. We can understand why you'd feel that way but the law was created in the best interest of all involved parties; the law is a practical matter, not an emotional one.
Just as the plaintiff, the defendant also has rights.
This law has been set in place to safeguard the defendant from fraud and abuse of legal rights and to avoid compromising their defense simply because the evidence proving their innocence is subject to deterioration over time.
Thus, we must proceed within the legal framework and follow the deadline.
Many accident victims delay matters not because they are lazy or uninterested, but because they don’t feel up for juggling the expenses of a lawyer among other things. However, hiring lawyers is not as hard as most would have you believe.
We, at the VG Law Firm, are well aware of the economic and non-economic losses incurred upon an individual by such tragic accidents and wish not to burden our clients any further. This is why we operate without any upfront fees and charge our clients only when they’ve won the case.
If you don’t win, we won’t ask for a payment.
Rest assured, our highly competent and experienced personal injury attorneys are all the legal muscle you need.
Don’t delay matters any further, call us today!