If you have been in an auto accident and suffered an injury from someone’s negligence, you may be looking into filing a personal injury claim with an experienced Miami Personal Injury Attorney. When filing a personal injury claim in the state of Florida, it is important to follow the statute of limitations. Below you will find Florida’s statute of limitations, details on filing a personal injury claim and what might happen if you miss your deadline.
Personal Injury Lawsuits and the Statute of Limitations
In the state of Florida, there are different statutes of limitations depending on age, injury, and the nature of the accident.
For most injury cases, you have up to four years from the accident to file your injury claim. This is because you may not know the extent of your injuries until well after the accident occurred, such as being exposed to a toxic substance. In cases like this, the state of Florida can extend your deadline for filing a claim.
Medical malpractice claims such as a misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment, and failed surgery have a more complex statute of limitations. These limitations include:
- Two years from the discovery of the injury date or four years from the malpractice date.
- If malpractice was covered up, the statute of limitations is two years from the discovery date and seven years from the time of the malpractice.
- For children younger than eight years old, they are excused of these statutes of limitations.
If you fail to file a lawsuit during the statute of limitations, you risk the chance of the court throwing your lawsuit out. However, if you believe that you will qualify for an extension, it is best to speak to an experienced Miami Personal Injury Attorney.
Florida Statute of Limitation Exemptions
Florida has classified several different situations that could result in pausing or extending the 4-year filing date set by the Florida Statutes Section 95.11(3)(a).
These different situations include:
- Being legally considered “incapacitated” where the individual has a temporary or permanent mental illness.
- The defendant no longer resides in the state of Florida after the accident occurred, and before the plaintiff has time to file the claim.
- The defendant changed their name or identity to prevent the process of the lawsuit.
For more exceptions, these can be found in the Florida Statutes section 95.051.
Personal Injury Laws in Florida
To receive money in the state of Florida from a personal injury claim, one must be able to prove that the personal at-fault:
- Has a duty to not cause injury to you, but failed to do so
- By failing to do their job correctly, they caused injury
- Caused you damages
Therefore, in Florida, there is an exception to auto accidents. Florida is a no-fault state. What this means is that the individuals own auto insurance will pay for their damages and injuries. Therefore, each driver in Florida is required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) that covers $10,000 per person per accident at a minimum.
If you are involved in an auto accident, according to Florida law, you can file a personal injury claim if your injuries are considered severe. Florida Law defines serious injuries as:
- Permanent injury resulting in a medical probability – other than disfigurement and scarring
- Serious or permanent loss of bodily function
- Serious or permanent disfigurement or scarring
If you have received serious injuries from an auto accident, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney who can help you file a claim for your pain and suffering.
Missing the Filing Deadline
After the 4-year personal injury lawsuit deadline has passed, and you still try to file a claim, there is near-certainty that the court will dismiss the case, and the defendant will bring it up in court. In this case, you have lost the chance of receiving compensation for your injuries unless you qualify for an extension under Florida’s Statute of Limitations.
What Type of Damages Will an Injury Lawsuit Include?
If you can prove that another person is at fault for your injuries, there is some compensation that you could be entitled to. These can include:
- The expenses of hiring someone to perform household duties that you are unable to perform
- Property damage caused by the accident
- Lost wages and time spent from computing to and from medical and therapy appointments
- Emotional distress
- Past, present and future medical expenses including – medication, hospitalization, treatment, medical equipment, and medical services
- Hindering family relationships
- Any other costs that directly impact you that is directly related to your injury
- Punitive Damages
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and Suffering
5-Step Process to Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Florida
When seeking to file a personal injury lawsuit, you will first need to speak with an attorney to go over the details of your accident. In this process, your attorney will begin investigating all aspects of the accident and any injury you had received. The attorney will then speak to all necessary witnesses, review medical documentation, watch security videos, and put together all evidence to create a convincing injury claim in court.
Once all aspects of your accident and injury have been investigated, your attorney will then begin drafting a claim in your favor. In this claim, the attorney will list your injuries from the accident, how these injuries have made an impact on your daily living, and why you should receive compensation.
Once your claim has been finalized, this is where negotiations will begin with the defendant or insurance company. Typically, the defendant will try to settle instead of going before a judge.
However, if you and the defendant are unable to come to an agreement, the lawsuit will be seen by the Florida civil court. During this time, you will begin your trial process. The judge appointed to you, and the jury will review all documents of your claim and agree upon a settlement.
When filing a personal injury claim, it is advisable to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. By doing so, your attorney will work for you and fight to get you the settlement you deserve. By having someone who can fight for you, you can focus on your recovery. If you have questions regarding the statute of limitations in the state of Florida, contact an experienced Miami Personal Injury Attorney.