How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a car accident?
In Florida, the time frame to file a lawsuit is determined by the statute of limitations, which outlines the maximum time limit within which you can initiate a legal claim following the incident.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for Auto Accidents?
The statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit in Florida is typically four years from the date of the accident. This means that you have four years from the accident date to formally file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for damages arising from the collision. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation through the legal system.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
While the statute of limitations in Florida generally sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit after a car accident, there are certain exceptions and circumstances that can impact this deadline. It’s important to understand these exceptions, as they can influence your ability to pursue a legal claim even if the standard statute of limitations has expired.
If the accident involves a minor (someone under the age of 18), the statute of limitations may be “tolled,” or paused, until the minor reaches the age of 18. This means that the usual time limit won’t begin counting down until the minor becomes an adult.
Incapacitation or Disability
If the injured party is incapacitated or has a disability that prevents them from filing a claim within the standard statute of limitations period, the time limit may be extended. However, this exception generally requires clear documentation and proof of the incapacitation or disability.
In some cases, injuries resulting from an accident may not be immediately apparent. The statute of limitations might start counting from the date the injuries are discovered, rather than the date of the accident. This applies when injuries become evident at a later time, such as with certain internal injuries or latent health conditions.
Fraud or Concealment
If the defendant deliberately conceals information related to the accident or intentionally engages in fraudulent behavior, the statute of limitations might be extended. This is to prevent wrongdoers from evading liability by misleading the injured party.
If the accident involved a government entity or employee, different rules and shorter timeframes may apply due to the need to file a notice of claim with the appropriate government agency before pursuing a lawsuit.
If a criminal case related to the accident is pending against the at-fault party, the statute of limitations for civil claims might be extended until the criminal case is resolved.
Can An Attorney Help Me File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
If you’re considering pursuing a car accident claim in Florida, the car accident lawyers at Friedland & Associates are here to provide you with knowledgeable guidance. We can assess the details of your case, inform you about applicable exceptions, and help you navigate the legal process. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your situation and explore your legal options.
Contact Us Today
If you’re considering legal action after a car accident in Florida, the car accident lawyers at Friedland & Associates are here to help. Our dedicated team of professionals can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the legal process, evaluate the strength of your case, and guide you through the steps necessary to pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses. We offer free consultations to discuss your case, so contact us today to get the expert advice and representation you need during this challenging time.