While the standard statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida is four years, certain factors can extend the deadline or effectively pause the timer.
If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of another, you can file for compensation until a specific deadline. The legal term for this is statute of limitations. In Florida, you have four years at your disposal to file a lawsuit against the person or legal entity responsible for your injury.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations represents the deadline by which you need to file a lawsuit. This varies between states and depending on the type of lawsuit. The time starts running from the date when the incident occurred.
If this lawsuit is filed after the set deadline, it will not be considered valid by the court, and the case will be dismissed. Therefore, make sure that you know what time frame is available for you and set up legal proceedings within that period.
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Florida
Florida has a deadline that determines the date until a victim can file a lawsuit against the business or person who caused them harm through neglect. Under Florida law, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is four years.
The deadline may alter depending on the status of the defendant. For example, if you target the Florida government, the legal procedures are governed by a different set of rules. Also, the statute of limitations reduces to three years.
Feel free to contact a Boca Raton personal injury attorney for more information and guidance on proceeding with a personal injury case. When you are going after government agencies, you should never proceed without expert legal counsel.
What Can Pause the Statute of Limitations
While the standard statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida is four years, certain factors can extend the deadline or effectively pause the timer. If your case fits into one of the following scenarios, you might have extra time on your hands.
The statute of limitations may often not be extended indefinitely. For some cases, regardless of extensions, the last deadline is seven years. Make sure to check with a qualified lawyer before relaxing too much. Also, it is always best to be prepared in time, since you never know what unpredictable situations may arise.
Discovery can be a helpful opportunity for personal injury victims. When used wisely and correctly, it can strengthen your argument and lead to a turning point in the case.
However, it can be tricky to use, as it depends on many factors. Make sure to consult your lawyer about what you can discover and how to initiate the associated legal process.
The deadline might be extended if the plaintiff has been deemed legally incapacitated (by a mental illness) when the accident occurred. Since each state handles these exceptions differently, make sure to consult a lawyer and learn what exceptions apply to your case.
The Defendant Fled
The legal timer will be paused if the defendant has left the state of Florida. The departure must occur sometime after the accident in question and before the filing of the lawsuit.
The Defendant Tried to Impede Legal Proceedings
The standard deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit may also be extended if the defendant tried to hinder proceedings in any way. There are several ways they could do this, including by hiding their identity.
The Bottom Line
The statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Florida is a complex topic. While the standard deadline is four years, starting from the date of the injury, several exceptions may apply to alter this time frame. In some cases it might be shorter (when filing a claim against the government) or longer.
It is always best to start preparing your case file as soon as you can under the guidance of a legal expert to ensure that you have the best chances to receive maximum compensation for your pain and suffering.