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Statute of Limitations for Florida Personal Injury Claims

What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida? Peck Law Firm

What is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida?

Everyday average people like you elect to employ the services of a personal injury attorney in Spring Hill, FL, but in addition to the legal services your personal injury attorney provides you with, they also have an obligation to provide you with legal information that applies to anyone involved in a personal injury claim. Certain rules and laws in our state can have a serious impact on your personal injury claim if you ignore them due to a lack of knowledge. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida is the type of law that falls under this category. 

As time passes after an event that gives someone the right to initiate a legal claim, the case becomes harder and harder to prove and defend. Witnesses begin to forget the details of how an accident occured. Evidence can get lost or merely disappear due to the passage of time such as a specific aspect of an accident scene like skid marks or a substance that caused a slip and fall accident to occur. Due to this, the Florida legislature has enacted a statute of limitations that applies to certain types of criminal and civil cases. 

What is a Statute of Limitations?

A statute of limitations is a legal time limit that dictates the amount of time you have to file a legal claim after you have gained the ability to initiate a case in a court of law. This ability or right to initiate a civil case is typically referred to as legal “standing,” and it is a necessary element that you must have in order to successfully file a lawsuit. Moreover, the time limit imposed by a  statute of limitations typically begins at the moment you gain standing in a personal injury case, which in many cases, is the date of your accident. 

Once the statute of limitations for a particular claim has expired or “run,” you could be barred from bringing a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for your injuries. This applies to the majority of cases, but not all of them due to certain tolling provisions that apply to specific types of claims under circumstances that are defined by statute. Moreover, in Florida and many other states, there is both a general statute of limitations that applies in most cases and certain statutes of limitations imposed on specific types of civil and criminal cases. 

General Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida

F.S.§95.11 defines the statute of limitations for many types of civil cases, including personal injury claims. Generally, most personal injury claims have a two year statute of limitations under F.S.§95.11(3)(a), which establishes a two year statute of limitations for an action founded on negligence. Since the majority of personal injury claims are initiated based on a negligent act, this two year statute of limitations applies to most personal injury cases unless there is a different statute of limitations that is specifically imposed on a category of personal injury claims by statute. Consequently, there is a two year statute of limitations on the following types of personal injury claims:

  • Car Accidents 
  • Dog Bites 
  • Slip and Fall Accidents 
  • Negligent Security 
  • Product Liability Claims 
  • Nursing Home Abuse Claims 

This list is not all inclusive, but rather, a list of the most common personal injury claims that fall under Florida’s general statute of limitations. However, there are other common types of personal injury claims that are governed by a shorter statute of limitations.

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Florida

Medical malpractice claims fall under a two year statute of limitations pursuant to the provisions of F.S.§95.11(4)(b), but what makes the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims unique is the timing of when the period prescribed by the statute of limitations begins. Normally, the period defined by a statute of limitations begins to count down after an event such as an accident that triggers your ability to bring a legal claim due to the injuries you sustained, but medical malpractice claims are unique in that an individual may not be aware that medical malpractice has occurred for a period of time that could vary in length depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.

As such, the Florida legislature worded F.S.§95.11(4)(b) to account for this fact by using the phrase “within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered.” The term “discovered” is used in an effort to try to account for scenarios where a patient may not be immediately aware that they have been a victim of medical malpractice. However, medical malpractice claims can be extremely complex, and acts of medical malpractice occur with a higher degree of regularity than most people would want to admit. In fact, according to a study conducted by John Hopkins Medical School, medical errors are responsible for more than 250,000 deaths per year. Due to these factors,  you should always contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible if you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice. 

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Florida

Similar to medical malpractice claims, wrongful death claims also fall under a two year statute of limitations that begins on the date the accident victim passes away. Remember, most personal injury claims can evolve into wrongful death claims if the accident victim dies due to the injuries they sustained in an accident. While they are alive, the two year statute of limitations applies, but once they pass away, the two year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims goes into effect. 

Personal Injury Attorney in Spring Hill, FL 

Being involved in an accident can be a life-changing, but you don’t have to face this difficult time alone. At Peck Law, our personal injury attorneys have helped individuals just like you seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries, and we are ready to start working on you personal injury claim today. If you have been hurt in an accident or just have questions about a possible personal injury claim, call our office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a personal injury attorney who will fight for you.      

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