A statute of limitations is a time period, established by a legislature, within which a lawsuit must be filed. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to force people to diligently pursue their claims. It is also meant to protect defendants from the litigation of claims that are long dormant. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall, or some other incident involving the negligence of someone else, you must comply with the statute of limitations in order for your claim to be successful.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
The standard time limit for lawsuits in Florida can be found in Florida Statutes section 95.11, which states that an action based on negligence must be brought in four years. Negligence cases include things like car accidents, bicycle accidents, slip and falls, or anything else involving the negligence of another person or entity. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the victim’s death. Florida has special rules with regard to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice suits. Determining the statute of limitations in your case can be complicated, so you should always consult with an attorney.
What if I Miss the Statute of Limitations?
If the statute of limitations has passed, and you try to file a lawsuit, the defendant will likely argue that you are out of time. Your case will then be dismissed. If that happens, then no matter how serious your injuries might be or how egregious the negligence was, you will not be able to recover your damages. This is why, if you’ve been injured, it’s important that you act quickly and consider hiring an attorney right away.
Even if you are only looking to settle a case and not take it to trial, the statute of limitations will affect any leverage you may have. A party will likely not want to settle a claim if the statute of limitations has expired and you no longer have the right to take the claim to trial. A threat to file a lawsuit becomes an empty one once the statute of limitations has run out.
Consult with an Experienced Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the injured for over 25 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.