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Florida Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Injury Claims

by | Feb 2024

In the aftermath of an injury, understanding the Florida personal injury statute of limitations on injury claims is crucial to ensure you protect your rights and seek the compensation you’re entitled to.

If you wish to file a personal injury claim in Florida, you need to start this before the window expires. While this sounds simple on paper, it’s not easy to do follow an accident, especially if you’re recovering from injuries.

And so, with this guide, we seek to empower our clients to navigate these timelines with confidence.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury in Florida?

In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. This means that personal injury victims have a period of 2 years to take legal action and initiate proceedings from the date of the injury.

The above generally applies to cases founded on negligence, which cover a majority of personal injury lawsuits. However, there are exceptions to this rule depending on the type and parties involved.

For example, in cases of medical malpractice, the injury is often discovered at a later date. As such, the Florida statute of limitations personal injury claim can be tolled (paused) and then started from the date of discovery rather than the date of occurrence.

Those who miss the statute can end up having their case dismissed, leaving them with no restitution.

Need help navigating the statute of limitations on injury claims?

if you need a Florida personal injury attorney, we have one ready to guide you through every step of understanding and acting within the statute of limitations for injury claims.

Time is of the essence, but with us, you’re not alone. Engage with a firm that combines a tenacious pursuit of your rights with a heartfelt understanding of the distress caused by your injury.

By entrusting us with your case, you’ll find a stalwart ally in the intricate world of personal injury law. We employ our extensive expertise to ensure that your representation is both assertive and meticulously tailored to your personal experience.

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Florida personal injury statute of limitations by injury type

Understanding what is the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuit cases is important because the law recognizes that not all claims are identical. While it’s not a new law, all types of personal injury cases comes with its own set of complexities and nuances that are as unique as the individuals involved.

It’s not just about legal timelines; it’s about your life, recovery, and future. That’s why we’ve created a list of personal injury lawsuit examples to simplify the process for you.

Let’s look at the different personal injury claims time limits so you know exactly how long you have to start your claim.

Assault, Battery and Other Intentional Torts

In Florida, the statute of limitations for assault and battery claims is four years from the date of the incident, as governed by Florida Statute 95.11(3)(n). This period affords victims a reasonable timeframe within which to pursue legal action against their aggressor.

Victims can claim compensation that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in some cases, punitive damages designed to punish the defendant for their intentional and harmful behavior.

Bicycle accidents

In the case of an accident, a cyclist has two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, aligning with the statute of limitations in Florida for personal injury cases, as cited in Florida Statute 95.11 under section 4a.

The offending action classifies as negligent act, which means the cyclist must prove that another party’s carelessness or recklessness caused their injuries.

Compensation in bicycle accident cases can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident.

Boating accidents

Boating accidents within the waters of Florida are not just limited to collisions between vessels; they can also involve solo crashes due to negligence, defective equipment, or adverse weather conditions.

When accidents do occur, injured parties have recourse under maritime and personal injury law.

The same negligence statute of limitations within Florida applies to boating accidents — two years from the date of the incident, as stipulated in Florida Statute 95.11.

Victims may seek damages for a variety of losses, including but not limited to, medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and in some cases, punitive damages if gross negligence or intentional misconduct can be demonstrated.

Brain injuries

The statute of limitations for brain injury claims falls under the same clause for medical malpractice, which is two years from the date of the accident, or two years after the brain injury is discovered (or should have been discovered.

Damages that may be recovered in a brain injury case can be extensive, reflecting the potentially severe and long-term impact of the injury. This can include the costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation, lost earnings, decreased earning capacity, and compensation for pain and suffering, as well as for the loss of quality of life.

Burn injuries

In Florida, victims of burn injuries caused by another party’s negligence have two years to file a personal injury claim, in line with the general personal injury statute of limitations provided under Florida Statute 95.11(4)(a). If the burn injury results from a product defect, however, the claim might also involve product liability law.

Recovery in a burn injury case can account for the extensive medical treatment often required, including surgeries like skin grafts, as well as rehabilitation and therapy costs.

Compensation might also include lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disfigurement.

Car accidents

For auto accidents in Florida, the personal injury statute of limitations aligns with the standard limitation for personal injury claims, set at 2 years from the date of the accident.

This statutory period is codified in the Florida Statutes Section 95.11(4)(a), which directly addresses actions founded on negligence (including ones involving a motor vehicle). It used to be 4 years but was updated in March 2023 to reflect the new statute of limitations of 2 years for cases founded on negligence.

For accidents involving an uninsured driver, the car accident statute of limitations in Florida may extend to five years. This extension is contingent upon meeting certain criteria, including the utilization of your no-fault (PIP) benefits. As for claims solely related to property damage, the standard two-year statute of limitations applies.

Note that there’s a 14-day accident rule which might apply in your case, especially if you’re dealing with severe injuries. This means that you must seek medical treatment within 14 days of your accident or risk forfeiting your claim for personal injury.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Florida that wasn’t your fault, contact us today for a free case evaluation!

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Construction accidents

Florida law mandates a safe work environment and compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

When construction workers get injured on the job, they are usually covered by workers’ compensation. This provides medical benefits and a portion of their lost wages. However, if the injury resulted from a third party’s negligence or a willful safety violation, the worker might have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

In such cases, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is two years from the accident date, according to Florida Statute 95.11(4)(a).

Compensation in a construction accident may cover medical bills, full lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

Dog bites

Florida dog bite laws stipulate that dog owners have a legal obligation to prevent their dogs from inflicting physical harm on others. Thanks to the statutes in place, victims of dog bites have the right to pursue legal action based on several grounds.

Under Florida Statutes Section 767.04, victims can seek recourse under strict liability. This means that dog owners are liable for any damage caused by their dogs, regardless of their knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. Victims may also have grounds for a lawsuit under intentional torts if the owner’s actions were deliberate or under negligence.

The period of limitations runs under the same negligence clause of the Florida Statutes Section 95.11 — two years after the incident.

Drunk driving accidents

Victims of drunk driving accidents in Florida can pursue damages through a personal injury lawsuit for their injuries and related losses. The state adheres to a strict two-year statute of limitations for such personal injury cases, as mandated by Florida Statutes 95.11, to ensure timely legal action is taken.

Recovery from a drunk driving accident can include compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, diminished quality of life, and punitive damages, which serve as a deterrent and a form of punishment for the negligent party.

Intentional infliction of emotional distress

In Florida law, what is considered a personal injury is not only limited to physical harm. Emotional trauma resulting from deliberate actions can be equally as debilitating as physical injuries.

Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) is acknowledged as a tort claim under the law. For such a claim, the plaintiff’s emotional distress must be a consequence of the defendant’s outrageous and intolerable behavior.

For cases of IIED in Florida’s personal injury law, the statute of limitations is two years. This is again, in accordance with Florida Statutes 95.11 which classifies the case as an “action founded on negligence“.

Note that emotional distress is a common element in many personal injury cases, and in such cases, the Florida tort statute of limitations may align with the underlying claim (e.g., auto accidents). However, the burden of proof for IIED is significantly higher, and not all cases may qualify for the exception.

Mass tort

In Florida, claims in a mass tort case need to be filed within the same statute of limitations applicable to the underlying cause of action, such as product liability or personal injury, which is usually four years from the date the plaintiff is injured or discovers the injury, as per Florida Statute 95.11(3)(d).

Damages awarded in mass tort cases can encompass medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and punitive damages, depending on the circumstances of each individual’s case.

Additionally, due to the complexity and scope of these cases, they often require a level of coordination not typically seen in standard personal injury lawsuits.

Medical malpractice

Medical malpractice is a complex area of personal injury law that requires understanding both legal principles and healthcare intricacies.

Generally, the medical malpractice statute of limitations runs for two years from the incident or within two years of discovering the bodily injury with due diligence.

The legislative framework in the Florida Statute Section 95.11(4)(b) delineates that no action may be brought forth beyond four years from the date of injury, except for specific circumstances favoring an extension.

An exceptional extension of the statute pertains to minors, as limitations may be extended up to their 8th birthday, ensuring that their right to legal recourse is preserved.

In addition, medical malpractice actions can include both tort and contractual disputes arising from the provision of medical, dental, or surgical services by licensed healthcare practitioners.

In certain scenarios, if there is evidence of fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation that prevented the discovery of the injury, the statute of limitations may extend by two years from the date the injury was or should have been discovered. However, this extension cannot exceed seven years from the original incident date.

Motorcycle accidents

Under Florida law, motorcyclists injured due to another driver’s negligence have two years for personal injury and four years for property damage to make a claim, according to Florida Statutes 95.11(4)(a) and Florida Statutes 95.11(3)(h), respectively.

Compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, damage to the motorcycle, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, which acknowledge the profound impact the injury has on the biker’s life.

Get in touch with us today to start your claim for a motorcycle accident in Florida

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Negligence

The Florida negligence statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the incident that caused the harm. Any legal action based on a case of negligence must be commenced within this period as per Florida Statute 95.11 (4).

Different categories of negligence, such as medical malpractice or auto accidents, may come with specific nuances addressed in their respective sections of the law.

Failure to adhere to this Florida statute of limitations typically results in the loss of the right to have the case heard in a court of law.

Nursing home abuse/neglect

Florida law provides strong protections for nursing home residents, including the right to live in a safe environment and to be free from abuse and neglect.

If you suspect that a loved one has been mistreated in a nursing home, it’s crucial to act immediately. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to nursing home abuse in Florida is generally two years after the discovery of the abuse, as outlined in Florida Statute 95.11(4)(b).

Victims and their families can seek damages for medical treatment resulting from the abuse, psychological counseling, pain and suffering, and a potentially shortened lifespan.

Additionally, if the conduct of the nursing home or its staff is particularly egregious, punitive damages might be awarded to punish the wrongdoers and deter similar behaviors in the future.

Pedestrian accidents

Should a pedestrian be injured by a motor vehicle, they are entitled to seek legal compensation for their injuries. Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those arising from pedestrian accidents, is two years from the date of the accident as per Florida Statute 95.11(4)(a).

Claims for damages can include medical expenses, lost wages due to time off work, and compensation for pain and suffering. In some tragic cases, if the accident leads to a fatality, the victim’s family might pursue a wrongful death claim.

Premises Liability

Premises liability refers to a property owner’s responsibility to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for visitors. In Florida, the extent of liability can depend on the status of the visitor—whether they are an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.

If you suffer an injury while on another person’s property, then you have four years to file a premises liability lawsuit in Florida, as stipulated in Florida Statute 95.11(3)(o). Successful claims must prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to correct or warn others about it.

In filing a premises liability claim, plaintiffs may recover damages for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses attributable to their injuries.

Product liability

You have four years to file a product liability lawsuit in Florida, starting from the date that the injured party discovers, or reasonably should have discovered, the harm and the causal relationship to the product. This timeframe is set out in Florida Statute 95.11(3)(d).

Claims in product liability can arise from various defects, including design defects, manufacturing defects, or failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions.

It’s critical that plaintiffs seeking recourse for injuries demonstrate that the product was defective and that this defect was the direct cause of their harm.

Slip and fall accidents

In Florida, property owners and businesses have a duty to ensure their premises are secure and to promptly address any potential hazards that might cause harm to visitors.

Florida Statute 95.11(4)(a) indicates you have two years, allowing victims adequate time to file a personal injury claim.

The compensation in slip and fall cases can help cover medical treatment, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and can also account for the pain and suffering endured due to the accident.

Spinal cord injuries

Individuals who suffer from spinal cord injuries in Florida due to another’s negligence have the right to seek legal redress to support their long-term needs and compensate for their losses.

The statute of limitations for spinal cord injury lawsuits in Florida is generally two years from the date of the injury, under Florida Statute 95.11(4)(a).

The damages recovered can be substantial, considering the significant medical costs, potential loss of income, ongoing care expenses, and the profound impact on the quality of life for victims and their families.

Furthermore, compensation may address the emotional and psychological suffering that accompanies such a drastic change in one’s abilities and lifestyle.

Truck accidents

Under Florida law, victims of truck accidents have the right to pursue legal action against the responsible parties, which may include the truck driver, trucking company, or manufacturers of defective parts.

The statute of limitations for filing a claim in truck accident cases is two years from the date of the accident, as stipulated by Florida Statutes 95.11(3)(a).

Recoverable damages in truck accident litigation may encompass medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Florida and need legal support, call us today for a free consultation.

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Vaccine injuries

Vaccine injuries, while rare, can be serious and may result in a need for legal action. In the United States, instead of pursuing a traditional lawsuit against healthcare providers or vaccine manufacturers, individuals who believe they’ve been injured by a vaccine may file a petition with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

Petitioners have three years from the onset of symptoms to file a claim for compensation from VICP. If an injury resulted in death, the filing period is two years from the date of death, but in no case more than four years from the onset of symptoms that resulted in death.

Compensation awarded by the VICP covers medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, although there are caps for certain damages.

Work injuries

Under the provisions of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Law, injured workers have 30 days to report their injuries to their employer to be eligible for these benefits.

After reporting the injury, a claim for workers’ compensation must be filed within two years of the injury date or within two years after the employee becomes aware or should have become aware of the injury related to their work.

There are specific legal nuances and limitations to be aware of. For example, employees cannot receive compensation if their injury was self-inflicted or if it occurred while the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Benefits could include coverage for medical treatment, compensation for a portion of the wages lost due to inability to work, and in more severe cases, disability benefits for permanent impairment or loss.

Wrongful death

In Florida, the survivors of the deceased, such as spouses, children, and sometimes parents or other relatives who were dependent on the deceased, may bring a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their loss.

Under Florida law, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death, as set forth in Florida Statutes 95.11(4)(e). This period limits the time within which a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed, and failing to act within this timeframe can result in a loss of rights to the claim.

The types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death suit can include medical and funeral expenses, loss of the deceased’s expected earnings, loss of companionship, and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss.

Personal injury statute of limitations Florida exceptions

Exceptions to the standard statute of limitations for personal injury cases exist in Florida law that may either shorten or extend the time frame in which an individual can file a claim.

These exceptions can be based on a variety of factors:

  • Discovery Rule: Applies when the injured party does not immediately realize that they have been harmed. The statute of limitations may begin to run from the time the injury is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of reasonable care.
  • Minor Children: The statute of limitations may be tolled, or paused, until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 in Florida. However, this is not a blanket rule and may depend on the specifics of the case.
  • Fraudulent Concealment: If the person responsible for the injury intentionally misleads the victim to prevent them from filing a claim in time, the statute may be extended to allow the victim to pursue legal remedies.
  • Absence from the State: If the defendant was absent from the state for a period of time or tried to hide to prevent the lawsuit, the time of their absence may not be counted towards the statute of limitations.

Need guidance on statute of limitations injury claims?

Navigating the complexities of the statute of limitation for personal injury in Florida can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with the aftermath of an injury.

Questions like — are personal injury settlements taxable in Florida, or how much compensation can I expect for my injuries may be running through your mind.

Should you find yourself in need of assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of Florida personal injury lawyers at Shiner Law Group.

Our experienced personal injury attorneys are committed to providing you with the expertise and support required to navigate the legal system effectively.

Contact us today and take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve.

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Key takeaways on the FL personal injury statute of limitations

The clock begins ticking from the moment of injury, or in some cases, from the moment the injury is discovered. This law ensures that legal proceedings occur while evidence is fresh and memories are clear, which promotes fairness in the judicial process.

However, this legislation is not without its intricacies, including various exceptions that can affect the standard time frame. These exceptions highlight the importance of consulting with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to provide clarity and guidance tailored to the specific circumstances of your case.

We at the Shiner Law Group stand ready to help you navigate these deadlines and protect your right to receive fair compensation for your injuries.

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