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How Long After a Car Accident Do I Have to Claim Injury?

How Long After a Car Accident Do I Have to Claim Injury?

Determining what to do after a car accident is likely the least amount of fun you will have in your entire life.

At times, it will feel like you are pulling teeth to get your comprehensive coverage or collision coverage benefits paid for a car totaled or issues, like neck pain after a car accident or back pain after a car accident.

When negotiating with your insurer, you might wonder what it is going to take to give you a fair offer for everything you have endured thus far.

Sometimes, the only solution is to hire a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer to put some pressure on your insurance company to pay you the benefits you definitely deserve.

One of the common themes that will appear during your claim involves the term statute of limitations, which is just a fancy legal word for court deadline.

In this article, the FLL Accident Lawyers team will address why the statute of limitations matters, why it exists, how it applies to claims in general, and what you can do to move forward before it is too late to file a case.

Why the Term Statute of Limitations Matters to You

For people who are not fluent in “legalese,” the statute of limitations is a term that defines the laws that govern the deadline on your ability to file a car accident claim.

This information means that you can actually miss your opportunity to file a compensation claim by not pursuing it in time.

Here is a hypothetical example to help you understand what this means:

Florida has a general 4-year statute of limitations deadline for car accident injury claims. If you were in an accident on February 1, 2020, you have up until February 1, 2024, to file a claim.

Let us stress one more thing: it is never advantageous to wait until the last minute to file an accident injury claim.

It is one of those technicalities that really burn a person up inside when someone else is responsible for causing you physical, financial, and emotional harm.

Instead of putting it off while watching the invoices from your car insurance, health insurance, and medical insurance pile up, search for a “personal injury lawyer near me,” and take the law firm up on its offer for a free consultation.

The personal injury lawyer you discuss your case with can help you understand what your legal options for compensation are.

He or she will further ensure that your case does not miss the statute of limitations that apply to your situation.

5 Reasons Why the Statute of Limitations Exists

Florida, like other U.S. states, requires personal injury matters to have a time limit for at least 5 good reasons:

  1. It gives you time to gather evidence
  2. You have ample opportunity to establish your future health outlook or prognosis
  3. Evidence degrades and memories fade over time
  4. The statute of limitations lessens the burden on an already strained legal system
  5. It is unlawful to leave the threat of a lawsuit over someone’s head

Simply put, a statute of limitations is in place to protect all parties involved.

However, there are a few important deadlines you should know about according to the type of compensation claim you and your Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer are filing for your car accident injuries, like for medical bills to treat pain after a car accident.

5 Reasons Why the Statute of Limitations Exists

Florida, like other U.S. states, requires personal injury matters to have a time limit for at least 5 good reasons:

  1. It gives you time to gather evidence
  2. You have ample opportunity to establish your future health outlook or prognosis
  3. Evidence degrades and memories fade over time
  4. The statute of limitations lessens the burden on an already strained legal system
  5. It is unlawful to leave the threat of a lawsuit over someone’s head

Simply put, a statute of limitations is in place to protect all parties involved.

However, there are a few important deadlines you should know about according to the type of compensation claim you and your Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer are filing for your car accident injuries, like for medical bills to treat pain after a car accident.

3 Relevant Statutes of Limitations that May Apply to Your Case

When you or a family member are involved in a car accident, your claim will fall under 1 of 3 areas of law: general personal injury, product liability, or wrongful death.

Each type of case has its own specific guidelines as well as timelines by which you have to file a claim.

Here is a brief description, along with the statutory deadlines that govern them:

1. Florida General Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

General personal injury is an area of law that is broad. It governs accidents that someone else inflicted upon you negligently, which resulted in your damages and financial losses.

Like its sub-areas, personal injury is a purely civil matter. Although, law enforcement can pursue criminal charges when applicable, like if the person who hit you was intoxicated.

The general statute of limitations for Florida personal injury cases is generous and lasts up to 4 years from the date of your car accident injuries.

2. Florida Product Liability Statute of Limitations

If your vehicle malfunctioned and caused your car accident injuries, then your personal injury attorney will file your case under Florida’s product liability laws.

The statute of limitations for Florida product liability claims is up to 4 years from the date you sustained the injury.

3. Florida Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

If any of the above-referenced accidents resulted in the death of a loved one, then surviving family members can file a wrongful death court case.

FLL Accident Lawyers would like to offer you its deepest condolences if you are in this situation.

We would also like to add that filing a lawsuit for wrongful death doesn’t bring your family member back, but it does send a message to negligent people that it is never okay to put another’s life at risk.

You have up to 2 years from the date of his or her death to hold the opposing party accountable for his or her actions.

What Happens If You Missed the Statute of Limitations in Florida?

In general, when you miss the statute of limitations, there really is no other way for your case to be heard.

However, some exceptions allow you to bypass this requirement, but they typically involve some kind of catastrophic situation.

For example, if you were in a comatose state for 5 years, there is no way you can legally file a lawsuit. In these situations, a judge may permit you to file a case after the statute of limitations expired.

A case that allowed the timeline to lapse can still petition the court to open a case, but it will likely result in the insurance company and other parties to file a motion to dismiss in response.

The judge will grant it because rules are rules.

As a general guideline, you can always run your case by a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney to help you determine if the timeline to file a claim has expired.

That way, you will know for sure and won’t have any doubt on your mind.

Why It Is Important to Act Long Before the Statute of Limitations Expires

It is tempting to believe that you have plenty of time to file a claim.

After all, 4 years is a long-time. You aren’t wrong to believe this.

But if you are looking for the most comprehensive result possible, do not wait any longer than necessary to file your car accident injury case.

Here’s why:

Your Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer is going to negotiate a fair settlement first. Doing so means that you might be able to avoid court provided that the insurance company offers fair compensation for your injuries.

This process takes time. There is a great deal of back and forth by and between your lawyer and the lawyers of the insurance company.

The more time that your attorney has available to gather evidence and advocate on your behalf, your case may have a chance to simmer down quickly so you can get on with your life.

Now, all settlement offers are not always fair. In these situations, your lawyer will file your case against the insurer and other liable parties in civil court.

If your lawyer has been negotiating your settlement offer, he or she now has a lot of information and evidence ready for your trial.

The best reason to act well before the statute of limitations is since it provides you more time to receive a more reasonable offer for your case. The process is not rushed when you give it time to develop.

You have nothing to lose by searching for a “personal injury lawyer near me,” and taking the lawyer up on his or her offer of a free consultation for your car accident injuries.

Genuinely, you have nothing to lose by hearing what he or she has to say about your situation and the timeline of your car accident case.

FLL Accident Lawyers Is Offering a Free, No-Obligation Consultation

If you are ready to discover your options related to your car accident injuries or your loved one’s wrongful death, FLL Accident Lawyers is prepared to help.

We are offering you and your loved ones a free consultation so you can evaluate our compassionate legal care for yourself.

Our team manages cases on a contingency fee arrangement, which means that we won’t ask for any upfront retainer or cost-prohibitive attorneys’ fees.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer today by calling (954) 519-6353 or sending us a note via our secure form.

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