If you sustain an injury because of someone else’s negligence or fault, your first priority should be medical treatment. Recovering from serious injuries takes time, and most people don’t have the energy to think about other things.
While recovering from these injuries is important, you must also consider what will happen as your life slowly returns to normal.
If you want to file a personal injury claim for your losses, it is important to take steps to protect your rights – right after an accident occurs. You must make crucial decisions and take the proper steps to set yourself up for a successful claim in the future.
Regarding the question above – how long do you have to file a personal injury claim in Florida?
While you do not have to file a claim immediately, the countdown starts on the date of your accident. Consulting with a personal injury attorney from Zimmet & Zimmet will help you better understand your rights and the timeline you must adhere to.
The Official Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim is the Statute of Limitations
If you experience an injury, you have limited time to file a legal claim against the at-fault party. The statute of limitations is the “official name” for this time period.
In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years.
You must file a claim within that time period. Failure to do this means you will lose your right to recover damages at all. Because of this, you need to work to ensure your claim is filed as quickly as possible.
Exceptions to the Four-Year Time Limit
If negligence is involved in your accident and injury, like in a slip and fall or car accident, you will usually have four years from the date of the incident to sue or settle the incident in Florida.
However, for medical malpractice claims, you have just two years.
These are the basic deadlines for all personal injury claims. Unfortunately, the law is not that simple. Conditions and exceptions can cause the statute of limitations to adjust. Some circumstances will stay the expiration. This is when a circumstance or situation prevents the statute of limitations from running for a time set by the law.
Situations that would result in exceptions and modifications applying to the statute of limitations include the following:
- The defendant or plaintiff is in a different state.
- The defendant or plaintiff is ruled to be incapacitated by the court.
- An accident results in wrongful death.
- The defendant in the case files for bankruptcy.
- The person who was injured is under the age of 18 (a minor).
- The cause of specific injuries is not known for several years.
- The defendant uses fraud to avoid being served.
- The defendant caused an intentional tort due to abuse.
If the plaintiff in a case is a minor when the incident occurs, the deadlines for filing a personal injury claim become even more confusing and complex. The statute of limitations for a child is until the child reaches the age of 18, with a maximum of seven years. Children are not considered to be competent enough to settle a lawsuit for themselves.
While this is true, the child’s parent, guardian ad litem, or court-appointed guardian can approve an offer on the behalf of a minor to settle their case. The court must approve the claim if the child is injured, if the settlement is $15,000 or higher, or if the child’s legal position creates some type of conflict of interest for the parents.
Don’t Wait to Act After Suffering a Personal Injury
When it comes to dealing with a personal injury, there are more than a few things to consider. However, you should not wait to file a lawsuit or seek legal counsel. The longer you wait, the more likely you will miss the statute of limitations, which means you will not be able to recover compensation for the losses you sustained.
At Zimmet & Zimmet, we are here to help with your personal injury claim and ensure you meet all important deadlines. With our help, you can feel confident that you will get the best possible representation and that we will fight to help you get the settlement offer you deserve.
The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free consultation. During this initial meeting, we can discuss your case and create a plan to move forward with your claim.