Florida Statute Of Limitations
If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, our Firm can help you take legal action against the liable person(s) or company immediately. However, your ability to take legal action and/or file a lawsuit against those persons or entities is subject to a very strict deadline.
If you fail to file a lawsuit prior to the deadline, you will be forever barred from bringing legal action against those who have caused you harm. These deadlines are laws called Statute of Limitations.
A statute of limitations is generally defined as “a law which sets the maximum period which one can wait before filing a lawsuit, depending on the type of case or claim.”
Each state has its own statute of limitations laws imposed by their state legislature. In addition to varying state by state, the timeframes to file a lawsuit for your injuries will vary depending on how you were injured.
In Florida, the timeframe for an individual to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by negligence is different from the timeframe to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by professional or medical malpractice.
What Are Florida’s Statute Of Limitations?
Florida’s Statute of Limitations for most types of legal action is found at Florida Statutes § 95.11 (2018).
If, however, you were injured as a result of the negligence of a government employee, or while on government property, the statute of limitations is governed by Florida Statutes §768.28 (2018). Further explanation between those two statutes is below.
Therefore, when you are injured by the actions or inactions of another person or entity, there are three very important questions to ask when it comes to the statute of limitations.
First, when does the clock begin ticking for me to bring a lawsuit for my injuries?
Second, how was I injured (and who caused those injuries)?
Third, and most important, when is the deadline for me to file a lawsuit for my injuries?
When Does The Statute Of Limitations begin?
When it comes to personal injury cases, the answer to the first question is almost always from the date of the incident.
However, if you are injured as a result of professional or medical malpractice, and the cause of your injury is determined at a later date, the clock will begin ticking from the date the cause of the injury is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.
If you are injured as a result of a car crash, in a slip/trip and fall, or from professional or medical malpractice, it is never advisable for you to wait. You should contact our Firm as soon as possible.
When Is The Deadline To File A Lawsuit?
The answers to the second and third questions must be addressed together.
Injuries caused by a car crash, or from a hazardous condition causing you to slip/trip and fall, are legal actions usually sounding in negligence.
According to Florida law, Florida Statutes § 95.11 (2018), an individual must commence legal action for negligence within FOUR (4) YEARS from the date incident.
For example, if you are injured in a car a crash that occurred on April 1, 2016, you must file your lawsuit before April 1, 2020.
Failure to take the proper steps before the four (4) year deadline will waive your right to file a lawsuit against the culpable individuals or entities.
Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine that protects state governments and agencies from being sued civilly by individuals who have been injured by those working for or on behalf of the state, municipality, city, agency, etc. Fortunately, Florida waived its sovereign immunity for select types of civil legal actions. Included in those types are negligence actions.
Although Florida does permit negligence actions against the state, city, agency, etc., claims for injuries caused by negligence MUST be brought within THREE (3) YEARS.
If you plan to file a claim or lawsuit against a government actor, Florida also requires that state of Florida be put on proper notice first.
Before any legal action can be brought, proper notice must be served upon Florida’s Department of Financial Services as required by Florida Statutes §768.28 (2018).
Especially in circumstances of sovereign immunity, if you have been injured due the negligence of a government employee, or on government property, you should contact our Firm as soon as possible to prevent from waiving any potential legal rights you have for your injuries.
Injuries sustained as a result of professional or medical malpractice must be brought within TWO (2) YEARS from the date of the incident.
However, sometimes injuries caused by professional or medical malpractice can take some time to discover.
In those circumstances, Florida law will wait to start the clock from the date the cause of the injury is discovered, or should have been discovered with due diligence.
But for injuries concerning medical malpractice, in no event can a lawsuit be brought later than FOUR (4) YEARS from the date of the actual incident – regardless of when the cause of the injury was discovered.
FIRST-PARTY UNDERINSURED/UNINSURED MOTORIST
Unfortunately, an individual with limited or no insurance coverage can sometimes be the party responsible for your injuries.
Because the other driver has limited to no insurance coverage, you are forced to seek damages from your own underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance policy.
First-party underinsured/uninsured motorist claims are much different than standard negligence claims. No doubt the driver that caused the car crash and your injuries was negligent. Your insurance company, however, was not negligent.
If you find yourself battling with your own car insurance carrier for the payment of your medical expenses for injuries caused by a car crash, your car insurance carrier may be in breach of contract.
As discussed above, in the context of the statute of limitations, breach of contract actions are subject to a different timeline than negligence actions.
Pursuant to Florida law, you have FIVE (5) YEARS from the date of the contractual breach to bring action for your injuries.
If you have been injured, it is never advisable to wait. If you have been hurt at the hands of another, contact our Firm immediately, and avoid the pitfalls of the statute of limitations.
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