When it comes to personal injury lawsuits and compensation, it is best to begin talking to a lawyer as soon as possible. Whether you’ve been in a car accident, injured at work or in a public place, or experienced medical malpractice or other injury or illness, your lawyer will need to collect evidence while it is available and question witnesses while things are fresh in their minds, then file before the statute of limitations deadline.
Statutes of Limitations
Florida Statutes Section 95.11 governs how much time a person has to file a lawsuit. The limitations vary depending on the type of crime, injury, or incident. In cases of personal injury, limits range between two and four years, as listed below:
Two-year limit: Wrongful death; some product liability; workers’ compensation; legal malpractice; medical malpractice
Three-year limit: Claims against the government, with the exception of wrongful death, which has a two-year limit
Four-year limit: Automobile accidents and other vehicle accidents; property damage; assault and battery; some product liability; personal injury
Exceptions to the rule
If you are close to the deadline or have passed the deadline, talk to a lawyer anyway, because there are some situations that can “stop the clock” on the statute.
Discovery: Discovery refers to when you discovered the injury. For instance, if ten years after working at a certain job you discovered you had cancer and believe the job was the cause, you have two years from the date you discovered you had cancer to file a suit for workman’s compensation. However, you would have four years from that date to file for personal injury.
Tolling: This legal term means that if there are situations outside of your control making it impossible for you to file a suit sooner, the state delays the limitation. Examples: the person responsible for the injury was out of the state of Florida, was hiding, or was using a false identity; the government was in a state of war or emergency; or you were mentally incapacitated for a period of time (however, incapacitation is not an open-ended excuse; you are still limited to seven years from the date of the incident).
Reach out as soon as possible
Because it can take time to build a case before filing a suit, be sure to reach out to a trusted personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. While some attorneys charge up-front fees, if I agree to take your case, I will not charge you until I have gotten a settlement for you. Don’t hesitate to contact me, wherever you are in the state of Florida. I handle every kind of personal injury case: car accidents or other vehicle accidents, hit-and-run accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, product liability, premises liability, slip-and-fall, negligence, workers’ compensation, and wrongful death.