The statute of limitations is an integral part of the personal injury law, not only in Florida but in the rest of the USA as well. Car accidents are both tragic and huge financial drains for the accident victims and thus it is only natural for them to yearn for monetary compensation.

However, there is only a limited window in which the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit.

This time limit is dictated by the statute of limitations in Florida which puts a four-year time limit to all car accident personal injury cases in the state. As a victim, you must abide by this time limit if you wish to get compensated for your suffering.

Ideally, you should call an experienced accident attorney early on, as soon as possible, to get the mess sorted because the more you delay matters, the harder things will get.

We’ll explore the topic in great detail under the following headers so keep on reading to explore more.

Statute Of Limitations – What Does It Even Mean?

two black cars crash on a fort lauderdale road

The statute of limitations puts a time limit or deadline to an accident victim’s right of filing a car accident lawsuit. The same also applies to other areas of personal injury law, in short, it creates a time limit for the legal action to safeguard the rights of all parties involved.

In Florida, there is a four-year statute limit for car accident cases, generally.

This means that from the moment a car accident happens, the victim only has this much time to exercise their legal rights and file a lawsuit. Of course, ideally, they should do so as soon as possible but the law keeps in mind issues like serious injuries which make it a bit hard to predict the cost of the case and similar issues.

However, any unnecessary delays should be out of the picture.

Naturally, victims seek timely compensation (for medical bills, pain caused by accident injuries, and so on) and if someone delays matters for no apparent reason, there is room for doubt about their intentions. If the plaintiff misses the deadline mark, then their case will not be heard by a court of law.

This rejection is completely legal as the person failed to put forward their case in the proscribed time frame.

Of course, exceptional cases can help you file your lawsuit later as well, but you should not delay matters at any cost. These exceptions are very rare, odds are your case won’t demand any exceptional treatment, thus you should get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after an incident like this.

How Does The Statute Of Limitations Work?

So, here’s how it all works:

  • The time limit for filing a car accident lawsuit in Florida is four years
  • This time limit becomes an applicable statute deadline from the moment the accident happened and the date of the accident will be used as a reference here.
  • You can only file your injury claim in a court within the time limit.
  • If you file a lawsuit after the proscribed time limit, your case will be rejected.
  • Some exceptions can prolong your window of opportunity, for instance, the discovery rule states that if some new facts come to light about the case, which were previously unknown (extent of damage, for instance), the plaintiff can file their lawsuit even once the limit has passed.
  • This exceptional treatment is governed by state laws, not according to individual situations.
  • The statutory time limit is not the same for all types of personal injury claims, for instance, the deadline is only two years for wrongful death lawsuits.

As long as you don’t delay contacting a personal injury lawyer, you won’t have to worry about these deadlines…

Why Is There A Statute Of Limitations To Begin With?

At this point, you’re probably wondering why all of these obstacles exist in the first place – this is a valid question, but the statute of limitations is not an obstacle, instead, it is more like a safety regulation to avoid the misuse of the law. Most cases filed beyond such limits have a mal-intent behind them.

This is not a mere coincidence, consider this: if a person really does deserve to be compensated for their damages (medical expenses, property damage liability, lost wages, etc.) and knows how much they can claim, why wait for years without any reason to demand that reimbursement?

There is no explanation here, except perhaps that some important facts regarding the case were covered by the sands of time.

This is the primary concern of lawmakers.

Over the years, a case can take a completely different turn, making the outcome quite alien to what it would’ve been otherwise. The jury may end up giving compensation where it was not due or refusing to award one where it was.

Evidence can become altered, witness testimonies can become clouded, even the people primarily involved in a case can forget the details of what happened after a couple of years.

Thus the statute of limitations is more of a push to encourage accident injury victims to file their civil lawsuits against a negligent driver as soon as possible. This way, the legal system won’t be misused, and the rights of both parties will be respected.

Of course, no one is misjudging your position/intention, we’re just stating the facts: this is the law, nothing personal.

While you can dig into exceptions, hoping that you might be able to file your lawsuit against the at-fault driver after the proscribed time limit, it is wise to not delay matters, to begin with. Contacting an experienced lawyer should be your top priority because they’ll know how to move your case forward within the legal time frame.

Florida is primarily a no-fault insurance state, but for serious accident cases, you can sue the liable party, just keep the limitations clock in mind though.

Contact A Trusted Law Firm As Soon As Possible

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident, there is no point in delaying matters. While Florida primarily follows a no-fault insurance system, forcing personal injury accident victims to file insurance claims with and seek financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages from their own insurance companies (as per the insurance policy), this stance is not inflexible.

You can sue the at-fault party under special circumstances, i.e. if you’ve sustained serious or permanent injuries. While four years may seem like lots of time, it really isn’t, thus you should not delay contacting a personal injury attorney.

white suv rolls over on an ft ladudale highway

Many factors can delay the resolution of your case, so you need to be ready for everything. Don’t let your hesitation get the best of you, contact the VG Law Group as soon as possible because our auto accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.

We won’t charge you a penny upfront.

Call today to learn more about what we can do for your case!

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