An Overview of Florida’s Car Accident Statute of Limitations
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If you sustained injuries in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have the right to pursue damages.
A Florida auto accident attorney can help demonstrate negligence and establish liability for your injuries, property damage, lost income, and related losses.
Unfortunately, you have a short window of time to take legal action due to the statute of limitations for a car accident in Florida.
Understanding this time constraint helps you protect your legal right to recover damages from the at-fault party.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
Florida’s Statute of Limitations gives you four years to file legal action for a negligence claim.
A statute of limitations is a law that limits the time you have to pursue legal action. Typically, these laws benefit all involved parties by quickening the resolution of legal disputes. Statutes of limitations also help reduce frivolous or fraudulent claims.
Limitations vary from state to state. The time you have to file a case also depends on the nature of your legal claim. For that reason, it is important to determine how the law applies to your case.
Understanding the Florida Car Accident Statute of Limitations
For a personal injury case involving a vehicle accident, you have four years from the date of the accident to file your claim in court.
If you fail to take action within this period, you lose your legal right to seek justice or recover compensation for your damages. There are exceptions, but it’s very rare.
Exceptions to the Florida Statute of Limitations for Auto Accidents
In most cases, you must file a Florida personal injury lawsuit within four years of the date of the accident. However, Florida law provides some exceptions. If any of these exceptions apply to your case, the time limit to file might be different.
In the case of a fatality, family members of the victim only have two years to file a wrongful death claim. The law also may provide limited extensions for filing a Florida car accident claim if the victim was a minor or had diminished mental competency.
Talking to an experienced car accident lawyer is the best way to determine whether any of these exceptions apply to your claim.
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Do I Need a Lawyer After a Florida Auto Accident?
The law does not require you to hire an attorney. However, having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side helps you recover the compensation you deserve.
When you choose an experienced car accident attorney to represent you, you have a compassionate advocate fighting for your rights and holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions.
Additionally, your attorney will help ensure the timely filing of your claim within the Florida car accident statute of limitations.
When Should You Contact a Car Accident Attorney?
Building a strong personal injury case takes time, even if your claim is simple and straightforward. The more complex your case is, the longer it could take your attorney to research and document your accident, injuries, and damages.
For that reason, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
Moving quickly on your legal claim will help ensure that your attorney can file your claim before the car accident statute of limitations in Florida runs out. Taking swift action can also benefit you in other ways.
In many cases, your lawyer can obtain a favorable settlement, allowing you to avoid going to court.
By starting your claim as soon as possible, you will have more time to negotiate with the insurance company and may succeed in getting the financial compensation you deserve without the time, hassle, and cost of a lawsuit.
Speak with a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
With more than a century of combined experience, the Florida auto accident attorneys at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon can help.