A personal injury accident can be frightening, whether a car accident, bicycle or motorcycle accident, slipping and falling, or even bigger, like an accident with an 18-wheeler. When everything is all over and you’re out of the hospital trying to heal, you then have to deal with the administrative part of the accident. Hospital bills, car repairs, lost wages, and other sudden expenses arise, but you still have to pay your regular bills and take care of your claim.
If you’ve spent time in the hospital or recuperating at home, you’re probably thinking about filing a lawsuit. In Florida, you can file a suit after someone’s negligence resulted in you being injured. But there is a time limit to file, known as the “Statute of Limitations.” Each state has different laws, so it’s important to understand how the law works for the statute of limitations for a personal injury in Orlando.
Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a) allows a four-year statute of limitations for filing most personal injury actions, such as:
You must file your claim within four years of the date of the accident. If you don’t act before the time limit is up, you’ll lose your right to sue. If you do, your case will likely be dismissed, so it’s essential to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as you can when the statute of limitations starts running.
In some cases, Florida law does allow the statute of limitations to be “tolled,” or put on pause for a time. This may give a plaintiff more time to discover his or her injuries. It is not easy to receive an extension on your window. If you are considering a lawsuit, talk to an attorney right away and ask about the possibility of “tolling” in your case.
If an individual passes away due to injuries sustained in a car accident, survivors who wish to file on his or her behalf have a short two-year statute of limitations (Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a)) after the individual’s death.
Florida has a slightly different set of rules for medical malpractice cases. To file a claim against a healthcare practitioner for malpractice, you must file within two years of when you discovered (or should have discovered) the injury, or four years after the injury occurred. The claim cannot be filed later than four years, with one exception: children. The statute does not apply to actions filed on behalf of children before their eighth birthday.
If the healthcare provider sought to fraudulently conceal the malpractice-caused injury, and prevented you from discovering it, the statute allows seven years from the date of the original malpractice.
Sometimes a personal injury is caused by the negligence of someone with a local, state or federal government entity. Can you file a claim? Yes–but you will only have three years, according to Florida Statute §768.28. You must provide the a written notice of intent to the agency for whom the defendant worked within the three-year period.
Once you file a lawsuit, you may be told that the defendant has deflected fault and claimed that you were the one who caused your accident. Of course, the other party would have to prove that you did, and were indeed partially responsible for your own injuries.
Florida follows the “pure comparative negligence rule,” meaning that if you are found to have contributed to your accident, you can be assigned a percentage of fault. This percentage can be used to reduce any settlement amount you may receive. For instance, if you were found to be 10% at fault for a slip and fall because you were looking at your cell phone while walking, your $50,000 settlement will be reduced by 10%, or $5,000, making it $45,000.
Florida courts are required to use comparative fault in personal injury cases. Insurance adjusters working outside of the court system will likely raise this issue during settlement negotiations.
You do not want to run afoul of the deadline to file suit. A lawyer from the Umansky Law Firm can help you manage the statute of limitations for personal injury in Orlando.
Personal injury cases are never easy, and no two cases are alike. Your insurance company wants to get your case resolved quickly and cheaply. Don’t let them force you into a fast settlement that could cost you.
At the Umansky Law Firm, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience resolving personal injury cases throughout Central Florida. William Umansky is rated 10 by Avvo. Contact The Umansky Law Firm today to talk to us about your case and how we can help. Call us at (407) 228-3838 and speak directly with one of our personal injury attorneys, or use our online contact form.
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