When you’re injured in an accident, normal life often seems suspended: you may need extensive medical care, time off work and additional assistance when navigating everyday activities. You may be mourning the loss of a loved one or otherwise deal with accident-related emotional trauma. Filing a personal injury lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind.
Florida has a more generous statute of limitations than many other states for negligence actions—but if you miss the filing deadline, you also miss the chance to recover compensation from the responsible parties. Here’s what you should know about filing limitations.
What is a statute of limitations?
The statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. The clock usually starts ticking on the date of the accident, or when the injury was discovered. This is a matter of policy: as time goes by, evidence disappears, memories grow foggy and proceedings may no longer be fair to all parties.
Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations
Depending on the type of case you file, the statute of limitations will vary. Here are some of the most common actions:
- Negligence:Negligence-based cases have a four-year statute of limitations, which is unusual. Many states limit negligence and personal injury case deadlines to two years. Most vehicle accidents and slip-and-fall accidents fall under this category.
- Wrongful death:Wrongful death actions must be filed within two years of the accident, by the decedent’s personal representative.
- Medical malpractice:If you’re filing a lawsuit against a negligent healthcare provider, you have two years from the date of the injury or when the injury was discovered. This applies in situations where the injury isn’t immediately obvious, such as leaving surgical instruments inside the body cavity.
If you have questions about Florida’s statute of limitations, call the experienced accident lawyers at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in Bradenton, FL.