How Much Time do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?

Personal Injury Limitations:  In Florida, depending on how you were wronged, or why you want to sue, you only have a limited amount of time to decide to bring a personal injury action (i.e. file a lawsuit). If you do not bring an action within the time-frames stated below, you will be FOREVER BARRED from bringing such claim to court.

This is why it is important to seek outside legal counsel from an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you have suffered an injury (or any other injustice) due to the negligence or actions of another.

Negligence (i.e. most automobile accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, boating injuries, truck accidents) = 4 years | Florida Statutes 95.11(3)(a); 768.35(3)

Uninsured Motorist Claim  5 years because the lawsuit is based on a contract, rather than a tort, theory. When you sue the UM insurance company, you are really alleging that, by failing to pay you the value of your claim, the uninsured motorists carrier breached their contract with you.

Wrongful Death  2 years | FL. Stat. 95.11(4)(d).

Products Liability / Defective Products Generally 4 years | FL. Stat. 95.11(3)(a),(e), and (p).Statute of Repose Unless the plaintiff can prove a manufacturer knew of a dangerous defect and took affirmative steps to conceal such defect: If product has an expected useful life of 10 years or less (see FL. Stat. 95.031(2)(b)), there will be no cause of action if the injury is due to exposure to such a product after 12 years from the date such product was FIRST sold. There is an exception for injuries that are sustained before the 12-year cutoff, but that only first manifest themselves after the 12-year cutoff.

Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Dental Malpractice  Generally: 2 years from the date of the negligence action. If there is fraud or intentional misrepresentation to conceal facts that would lead to the discovery of the negligent act, then no but no more than 4 years from the date of occurrence (unless brought on behalf of a minor under eight years old). OR 2 years from the date the negligent act should have been discovered with due diligence, but never more than 7 years from the date the negligent act occurred. | FL. Stat. 95.11(4)(b).

Assisted Living Facilities / Nursing Homes  2 years from time incident occurred or should have been discovered, no later than 4 years from the date of the incident. If there is fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation that prevents the discovery of the injury, the statute of limitations can be extended an additional 2 year, but in no case, more than 6 years from the date the injury occurred. | FL. Stat. 429.296(1), (2); 400.0236(1).

False Arrest / False Imprisonment  4 years | FL. Stat. 95.11(3)(o)

Intentional Torts (assault, a battery of children, elderly, spouse, etc¦) = 4 years | FL. Stat. 95.11(3)(o), (7). This does not pertain to criminal prosecution.Asbestos = 2 years (for wrongful death); 4 years (personal injury other than death) | FL. Stat. 95.11(3)(a), (e), (o); FL Stat. 95.11(4)(d).

Phenoxyl Herbicide Exposure (by a member of armed forces): 2 years from date cause of action is, or should have been, discovered | FL. Stat. 95.11(4)(f).

Workers Compensation: see FL. Stats. 440.39(4)(a), (b); 440.19(1), (2), (5); 440.53; 440.358(12). Our firm does not handle Florida workers compensation cases, but we would be happy to refer you to a workers compensation lawyer who does.

More About the Time Limits to File Lawsuits in Personal Injury Matters

Again, the statute of Personal Injury Limitations (SOL) sets a time limit for victims to pursue legal action, or civil action, in regard to a financial settlement for injuries suffered due to the neglect of another person or entity. There are very few exceptions made to allow an individual to file for damages after the statute of limitations expires. In general, the statute of limitations for accident claims in Florida can range from two to four years but, in an auto accident case, the SOL can be as long as five years in the case of an uninsured-motorists claim.

The statute of limitations can vary depending upon the type of accident or injury claim you want to file and who you want to sue. For example, click the hyperlink if you want to sue a Florida public/government entity with sovereign immunity as you can see, the rules can be confusing. As expert injury lawyers, we make it a priority to know the statutes, understand the exceptions and stay informed of any changes in the law. If you are concerned that you may be close to the expiration of your statute of limitations, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel to determine if you should file an accident or injury claim.

Exceptions to Florida Statute of Limitations

While some claims are very simple to understand, there are many factors that may play a role in whether an exception can be made to a set statute of limitations, including:

  • Multiple causes or defendants in the negligent act that resulted in injury a qualified injury lawyer can help determine if your claim can fall under more than one category or seek damages from more than one defendant.
  • The discovery rule may apply for an exception to be made if it is not reasonably possible for a person to discover the cause of the injury, or ascertain that an injury has been suffered within the allotted time frame.
  • Tolling of the statute of limitations refers to a qualified event that may temporarily halt the clock and prevent the statute from running. For example, a minor who suffers an injury may be able to seek compensation after the statute expires, once the minor is old enough to realize the full effects of the injury.

The laws regarding the statute of limitations are very complex. If you have suffered an injury, it is always advisable to seek legal counsel as quickly as possible. Just because you have four years to file suit, does not mean you should wait that long. In fact, the closer you get to the SOL, the less likely a lawyer will want to take on the case. The lawyers at Neufeld & Kleinberg, PA have served the Miami area for many years. We take great pride in offering the best representation for accident victims. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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