Unexpected injuries due to the negligence of another can cause serious financial, physical, and emotional burdens for victims and their families. If you have been injured in an incident due to someone else’s negligence you are entitled to file a personal injury claim to pursue the damages caused by the negligent party.
Personal injury lawsuits are diverse and can be extremely complicated due to the many laws that govern them and the variety of exceptions to those laws. One of the most important laws to be aware of when filing a personal injury claim in Florida is the state’s Statute of Limitations. Legislation limits the time an injured person has to file a personal injury claim so it is crucial to find an experienced and trustworthy lawyer who can explain how these limits will impact you and help you file your claim.
For an accurate explanation of how Florida’s statute of limitations will affect your situation, rely only on a lawyer specifically versed in pursuing negligence, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability. Plaintiffs who delay finding a lawyer risk missing the strict timeline, and once that happens, the case is over.
Learn More About Florida’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
What is a Statute of Limitations?
The term “Statute of Limitations” refers to a state law that sets a deadline for legal action to be taken in a specific case. Should a case be submitted outside this timeframe, it generally will be dismissed in court. There are different deadlines depending on the type of claim being filed, and in which state it is being filed. Following the statute of limitations does not mean a case must be completed within the prescribed time frame, only filed within the court system to initiate the claim process.
Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations depends on negligence, or the failure to use reasonable care, that results in physical injury to another person. The broad scope of personal injury lawsuits which includes car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and medical malpractice among many others, involves a multitude of variables that may affect how the statute of limitations applies to a specific case.
As all personal injury cases are unique there may be many instances where additional laws or legislation come into play that allow the plaintiff to seek extensions or waive an extent of time depending on the circumstances of the case. Ultimately, pursuing immediate help from an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your rights and well-being for your particular case.
The Purpose of the Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations primarily exist to ensure that claims are resolved in a timely manner. Time is essential when handling investigations and evidence for personal injury cases as many incidents involve evidence that may erode, become obscured, or disappear over time. For example, eyewitness testimony may become altered or less reliable as memories and detailed recollections fade with time.
Additionally, statutes of limitations exist to protect the defendant from unfair legal action. A limited timeframe will keep a plaintiff from using a lawsuit as a potential threat for an extended period of time.
Why is Hiring an Attorney so Important?
In the event of a personal injury, the statute of limitations clock typically begins on the date the injury occurred. Filing a claim after the expiration of the statute of limitations will generally result in the loss of the plaintiff’s legal rights to file a lawsuit for compensation.
Hiring an experienced Florida personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that your case is received by the courts and legal action is initiated. An attorney can help you decipher the legal aspects of your claim and ensure your case meets all statutes and requirements to move forward successfully in court. By waiting to find an attorney you may jeopardize any opportunity to seek compensation for damages.
Ted Babbitt was instrumental in the development of Florida’s “Tony’s Law,” successfully assisting Elaina Valdes, Tony’s mother, in taking on Florida’s medical and insurance lobbies to change state malpractice statutes as they applied to young children.
A subset of personal injury law, medical malpractice covers injuries that have been caused by the negligence of a medical provider, institution, or company. Until 2018, medical malpractice cases involving minors fell under the same statute of limitations as adults, not accounting for the cognitive and physical development that can mask many injuries in a child.
How We Can Help
If you believe that you or a family member has been injured due to the negligence of another party, it is important to contact an attorney immediately. Ted Babbitt is an award-winning West Palm Beach Florida personal injury lawyer. In his decades of experience, Ted has won numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements, in matters including medical malpractice, car accidents, product liability, drug litigation, commercial litigation, and other mass tort and personal injury matters, obtaining some of the largest recoveries ever seen in Florida.
Ted’s team has the resources to conduct independent investigations, evaluate your case, and guide you in the best next steps for your situation. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and start your road to recovery.