After a motor vehicle accident, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. Not only do you need to get your vehicle repaired, but if you’ve suffered from injuries, all of your time and attention will likely be focused on your recovery. Filing a lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages may be the last thing on your mind, but waiting too long could leave you without any recourse at all.
The state of Florida has a statute of limitations for car accident claims. Under state law, individuals have a time limit for filing a lawsuit in court. Understanding the deadlines can help you avoid missing your opportunity to seek justice.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
In Florida, the statute of limitations for car accidents is typically four years. During this time, you can bring a lawsuit against the driver or other parties responsible for causing an accident that resulted in physical injuries or damage to your property. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and anyone else who suffered damages as a result of the car accident can also file suit within the four-year timeframe.
If someone died as a result of the accident, the statute of limitations for the family to file a wrongful death lawsuit is only two years. This time limit begins on the date of the person’s death, which may be different from the date of the accident.
If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed, the courts will most likely dismiss your case. However, while it is rare, there are some circumstances when a judge may be willing to extend the deadline. For example, this may apply if your injuries did not become apparent until well after the accident occurred or if a significant issue prevented you from being able to file the lawsuit before the deadline. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether it makes sense to pursue a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed.
Benefits of Filing Your Claim Early
While you may have up to four years to deal with your car accident claim, it’s often best to file a lawsuit sooner, rather than later. Not only will the details of the incident be fresh in your mind and the minds of any potential witnesses, but it may also be easier to gather evidence such as accident scene photos.
Starting your lawsuit early will allow you to completely document your recovery process by keeping a journal that shows how your injuries impacted your personal and professional life. Your attorney will also have more time to build your case, including working with expert witnesses to help support your claims.
Consult with a Florida Car Accident Attorney
Keeping track of filing deadlines can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to get your life back on track after a serious injury. An experienced car accident attorney can help you make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.