Injury Claims & Florida Statute of Limitations
Serious personal injuries can result from car accidents in Orlando. When the reckless actions of other drivers are to blame, you have the right to hold them accountable. As experienced Orlando car accident attorneys, Pardy & Rodriguez, P.A. helps you get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages you suffer. However, there are Florida statute of limitations laws that limit the amount of time you have in filing an accident claim to recover these damages.
What is the statute of limitations for a car accident in Florida?
Car accidents in Orlando happen on a regular basis and are often due to dangerous driving behaviors on the part of others, such as speeding, running red lights, driving distracted or under the influence. To protect your rights in filing an accident claim, it is important to notify your insurer as soon as possible and to contact our Orlando car accident attorneys before making any statements or accepting any settlement offers.
When filing a claim in Florida, there are statutes of limitations that define the amount of time you have to initiate legal proceedings. Under the Florida Statutes, the time limit for car accident claims is four years from the date of the accident. While your case may be resolved much sooner than this, the four-year statute of limitations gives your Orlando car accident attorney the necessary time to take the following actions on your behalf:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into your accident;
- Gather the evidence needed in proving the other driver was to blame, such as police reports, witness statements, and nearby security camera footage;
- Obtain medical records and statements from your doctor regarding the extent of your injuries and your prognosis for recovery;
- Determine the amount of medical expenses and lost wages you are likely to incur, both now and in the years to come.
Are there exceptions to the statute of limitations in Florida car accident cases?
There are two exceptions to the four-year statute of limitations for car accidents in Florida. The first is when a car accident involves a government entity, such as a local official, essential service providers, or any state employee. The statute of limitations in these cases is reduced to three years. In addition, written notice needs to be provided to the government agency involved and the Florida Department of Financial Services as soon as possible, as claims will only be considered after the conclusion of an initial 180-day investigation.
The second exception to the four-year Florida statute of limitations for car accidents concerns fatal crashes. Sadly, these types of crashes claim thousands of lives each year. When they happen due to the negligence of others, this is referred to as a wrongful death. The Florida statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is two years after the person passed, rather than from the date of the accident. Those entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Florida include:
- The spouse of the victim;
- Their children;
- Their parents;
- The personal representative of their estate.
How long after a car accident can you claim injuries?
Statutes of limitations for car accidents in Florida allow victims to claim injuries at any time over the four year period, but the sooner you seek medical care the greater your chances of getting compensation in a claim. This is especially true considering that there are some car accident injury symptoms that can take months or even years to fully appear. Common accident injuries associated with a delayed diagnosis include:
- Back and neck injuries: Whiplash and damage to discs, vertebrae, or to other parts of the spinal column can cause delayed symptoms, including extreme pain and limited mobility.
- Head injuries: Any type of bump, blow, or jolt to the head can result in traumatic brain injuries. It can take years to diagnose subtle symptoms, such as increased headaches, personality changes, and decreased cognitive abilities.
- Internal injuries: Pain in the abdominal region that appears years after a car accident can be caused by damage to body organs and tissues.
- Soft tissue injuries: Damage to muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue injuries can cause delayed symptoms, such as weakness in the affected area, numbness or tingling, and limited mobility.
Can you get an extension on the statute of limitations for car accidents in Orlando? In cases where injuries were not apparent, the answer is yes. The four-year time limit may also be tolled, which means the clock stops running, if the victim was under 18 at the time of the accident.
Don’t let the statute of limitations expire on your Florida car accident
Don’t wait until the last minute to begin the complicated Florida claims process. To protect your rights to compensation after an Orlando car accident, contact the Law Offices of Pardy & Rodriguez. With over three decades of experience, you can count on our Orlando car accident attorneys to take swift legal action. Our goal is to recover all your damages as quickly as possible so give us a call today to get started with a free consultation.