Florida’s Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicle estimates that 41% of traffic accidents result in one or more injuries for both drivers and passengers. Florida is a no-fault state. That means drivers should carry a mandatory personal injury protection insurance policy. That way, the driver can recover damages when they get involved in an accident.
However, some car crashes result in severe injuries or death. In this situation, the victims of the accident or their survivors have the right to seek compensation for the injuries by filing a personal injury claim. Florida’s laws set the statutes of limitation for bringing a lawsuit against a negligent party alleged to have been the direct cause of the accident.
Statute of limitations
There are different statutes of limitation that apply to take legal action that arises from vehicle accident injuries. The applicable statutes majorly depend on who you want to sue and the nature of your claim. There are four types of injury claims associated with a car accident. These include;
Car accident injury claim: If you or your loved one was involved in a car accident, you have up to four years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit against the entity believed to be responsible for your injuries. Once this period expires, there is a good chance Florida courts will not allow you to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained.
A product liability claim: Sometimes, car accidents occur due to defective parts such as brake pads and tires. If this was the primary cause of the accident that resulted in your injuries, the law allows you to file a product liability claim and seek compensation for all the injuries and other damages associated with the accident. Remember, you have four years from the time you suffered the injuries to file the product liability claim.
A claim against a government entity: Poorly maintained highways can lead to accidents. For instance, sinkholes. Potholes, dangerous construction zones, uncleaned debris, and faulty traffic lights can cause car accidents. According to Florida State law, the victims of the accidents have up to three years to file a personal injury claim against a county, city, state, or any other government entity responsible for road construction and maintenance.
Wrongful death claim: Did you lose a loved due to a car accident caused by another person’s negligence? The law allows you to seek compensation for the damages associated with the loss of a loved one. Remember, the right to seek these benefits will be determined by your relationship with the deceased. You are entitled to sue for damages such as loss of companionship, expenses incurred during the funeral, pain, and suffering. You have up to two to file this claim.
Florida’s legal code provides statutes of limitation for nearly every type of criminal and civil legal action. Though it’s rare, some situations require the court to make exemptions to these time limits. Depending on your case’s unique circumstances, the court might extend the time limit, which means you can successfully pursue a personal injury lawsuit even if the statute of limitations had expired. Here are some of the scenarios that might result in an extension of the statute of limitations clock.
- If the defendant cannot be located after you have filed a lawsuit against them
- The liable entity used a false identity
- You suffered catastrophic injuries
- Delayed discovery of the injuries you suffered
- When the victim of the accident is a minor
If you or your loved one was involved in a car accident, don’t let the time limit to bring a lawsuit run out. Consult with an experienced lawyer who can help you pursue a personal injury claim successfully.