Florida Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
If you are injured, whether in a car accident, slip and fall, workplace accident, or any other kind of accident, there is only a certain amount of time that you have to bring your claims in court. This is called the “statute of limitations.” The length of the statute of limitations depends on the state and the type of case that you are trying to bring. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you are forever barred from bringing your case in court by suing the at-fault party. Thus, it is very important to speak to a lawyer without much delay.
General Personal Injury Claims
Florida has a rather long statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. In Florida, claimants have four years from the time of the accident or injury to file suit if they are filing under the theory of negligence.
Though wrongful death also often uses a negligence theory, Florida law only gives plaintiff’s two years to file a wrongful death claim. However, unlike with a personal injury claim from a car accident where the date of the accident is what starts the clock, with a wrongful death case the statute of limitations period does not start to run until the person dies.
Due to the lobbying efforts of doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers, medical malpractice has special laws that apply to it, including a different statute of limitations. In Florida, a claim for medical malpractice must be brought within two years of the injury. This section gets complicated though, because of when the clock starts and stops. The statute of limitations on a medical malpractice claim begins at the time the malpractice/negligence is discovered, or when the malpractice/negligence should had been discovered. Another limitation on the timeframe is that no matter what, adults only have a total of four years to bring a medical malpractice case total. For example, if you undergo surgery and the doctor causes an injury through malpractice but you do not discover it until five years later, you are not able to bring a case. One huge exception to this is if the doctor who committed malpractice concealed the injury through fraud. In that case you have two years from discovery or up to seven years.
It is important to note that the information above only applies to adults and there may be a different statute of limitations when kids are involved.
Clearwater Personal Injury Attorneys
As you can see by the statutes of limitations, it is crucial that you speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you have been injured. Though these time periods may seem like a long time, as explained above it is not always clear when the clock begins and you will want to have as much time on your side as possible. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Roman & Roman P.A. in Clearwater, Florida, can help you with any personal injury claims you may have.