What Is The Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations In Florida
One of the most important questions to ask your personal injury lawyer is what is the applicable statute of limitations in Florida for my accident injury case? Although this is not the only question to ask your local personal injury attorney, it should be one of the most important. The attorneys in our Palm Beach county law firm focus their practice on helping people who were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and sometimes we have potential clients call us after it is too late for us to help them recover for their injuries and damages.
Defining Statute Of Limitations
Sometimes the best way to convey an example is by providing an analogy, thus, please allow our law firm to expand on the importance and issues surrounding Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations. After helping a vendor set up shop at the Delray Green Market, Joel Richard had to go. The 67-year-old began what he thought would be an uneventful walk to a nearby restroom at Old School Square Park in Delray Beach.
But, upon seeing that vehicles were parked on the paved path located in Palm Beach county ahead of him, Richards decided to walk across a grassy area. Much to his dismay, he claims to have suffered a slip and fall injury that included a fractured and dislocated left hip.
In court, Richards argued that the business operating in Delray Beach was negligent in permitting vehicles to park on paths, which, thereby, forced him to walk on the unmaintained grass.
That slip and fall accident happened in 2013, but the court did not rule in favor of the City of Delray Beach until 2018. After some five years had passed, the city had successfully argued that, despite the vehicles parked in the path, safe passage was accessible to pedestrians without having to walk across the grassy area.
Personal Injury Claims In Florida
The plaintiff in this slip and fall court case had a legal right to file a personal injury claim against the business operating in the city of Delray Beach up to four years from the time of the accident. In legal circles, this period is called Statute of Limitations.
In Florida, a person who has suffered a personal injury or wrongful death – by acts either unintentional or intended – has four years from the time of the accident to file a claim against the party at fault. However, in other cases, where the potential defendant is a city or other governmental entity, the Statute of Limitations may be much shorter. For instance, if you were to bring a claim against the city of Delray Beach, you would need to file your law suit before the expiration of three years; the reason is that government entities are considered “sovereign” entities and therefore the statute of limitations is shorter.
Any lawsuit filed beyond this four-year statute of limitations – even if the claim is filed one day beyond the deadline – is likely to be dismissed by the court.
In rare instances, a Florida civil circuit court may extend the four-year statute of limitations based on:
- An injured party is legally “incapacitated” at the time of the accident;
- A party that caused the injury left the state and a lawsuit could not be filed;
- A defendant took steps to change or conceal an identity.
FREE Personal Injury Consultation with Delray Beach Injury Attorney David Shiner
Don’t take your injuries for granted. As Palm Beach County’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm, we urge you to consider filing a claim whenever you are injured – sooner, rather than later. This means when you slip and fall as a result of the negligence of another or are injured due to a defective product or are hurt in an automobile accident.
Note: Putting this type of decision on the back burner could lead to forfeiture of financial compensation to cover losses due to medical expenses, emotional suffering as a result of your injuries, and lost wages as a result of time away from work. It is important to act quickly for many reasons, memories fade, evidence is lost, etc. However, knowing that the statute of limitations could expire and be a complete bar to your injury claim is reason enough to call a local lawyer who practices personal injury in Florida.
Keep in mind that the clock starts ticking on the time you have to file a claim from the date of your accident or injury.
our first step after an accident should be to see a doctor who can examine you for injuries. Sometimes, days may pass before you will be able to identify the exact nature of your injuries.
Why You Should Get Medical Treatment For Your Injuries
In Florida, if you do not receive medical attention within 14 days of your injury, you may not receive compensation from an insurance company for any care after the two-week timeframe.
South Florida’s Top Attorney David Shiner and the trial attorneys at Shiner Law Group can determine if you meet the threshold for permanent or significant injury under Florida Statute of Limitations. Processing insurance claims and building evidence to support your case can be overwhelming.
An attorney can help you forward documentation to an insurer, which must receive proof of your injuries within 10 days of your accident. After 90 days, an insurance company must decide to either pay or deny your claim.
If your claim is accepted, compensation is usually forwarded within 2-4 weeks of the settlement. If your injuries are contested, a year may pass before your claim is disputed in court.
Medical Malpractice Statute Of Limitations
If you are injured and require immediate medical attention, you should know that the extent of your injuries may not be entirely due to negligence at the time of your accident.
Doctors, nurses and related healthcare providers who fail to treat you properly in the aftermath of your accident can also be liable for negligence or what is called medical malpractice.
In Florida, the Statute of Limitations is somewhat different for medical malpractice than those regulations for personal injuries. The time you have to legally file a medical malpractice lawsuit must be:
- Within two years of when the malpractice allegedly occurred;
- Within two years of when the medical malpractice was or should have been discovered;
- Four years, regardless of when the malpractice was discovered as long as the incident occurred more than four years before the lawsuit was filed.
Limitations Of Filing A Personal Injury Claim
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, subjected to a faulty product or service, involved in a traffic accident or, perhaps, victimized by medical malpractice, your claim does not have to be resolved within any of the Florida Statute of Limitations.
But, you should be aware that if you decide to seek financial compensation through the judicial system, you must file a claim with the court prior to the Statute of Limitations.
Don’t take a chance. The trusted attorneys at Shiner Law Group will address both your personal injuries and concerns immediately. Allow them to sort out the facts of your claim and determine which path is in your best interest.
FREE No Obligation Consultation with David Shiner, call 561-777-7700, 24/7.
Perhaps, your case can be settled without going to court. The truth is most personal injury disputes never reach trial. That said your case is unique to your circumstances and should never be underestimated. Use the statute of limitations to your advantage to secure the compensation you are entitled to and deserve. Consult Shiner Law Group today.