When automotive accidents occur, some drivers and passengers stroll away with minor bumps and bruises or catastrophic, whereas others endure life-changing accidents with fatalities. Earlier than the top of 2018, greater than 360,000 visitors crashes have occurred on Florida roads, ensuing in nicely over 200,000 accidents and greater than 2,600 fatalities. In case you have been injured in a automotive accident or a member of the family has misplaced their life in an accident, you could be eligible to get well damages if the accident was brought on by one other get together’s carelessness.
Don’t wait to seek out out about your rights to compensation. Florida, like all states, limits the quantity of time you need to search compensation from the events who harmed you or your beloved via its “statute of limitation.”
- 1 What Is a Statute of Limitation?
- 2 Florida Statutes of Limitation for Car Accidents
- 3 Extensions to Statutes of Limitation in Florida Car Accident Instances
- 4 Availability of the Defendant
- 5 False Illustration
- 6 Catastrophic Accidents
- 7 Delayed Discovery
- 8 Injured Dependents
- 9 Statutes of Repose in Florida Car Accident Instances
- 10 What if the Statute of Limitation Runs out on My Car Accident Declare?
- 11 Florida Private Damage Safety (PIP) Insurance coverage Protection
- 12 Instant Steps After a Car Accident in Florida
- 13 Contact an Lawyer Earlier than The Statute of Limitation Runs Out on Your Car Accident Declare
What Is a Statute of Limitation?
A statute of limitation is a regulation that mandates a time restrict to take authorized motion. Statutes of limitation exist for felony offenses and civil actions and range from state to state. In private damage instances like automotive accident claims, a statute of limitation dictates the quantity of time that a sufferer who sustained an damage has to sue for damages. When that point runs out, victims are barred from submitting a declare to get well losses associated to an damage. Florida has a number of statutes of limitation for various varieties of instances, together with automotive accident claims.
Florida Statutes of Limitation for Car Accidents
The Florida statutes of limitation relevant to automotive accident instances differ based mostly on who’s being sued and whether or not or not the crash resulted in dying.
- Car accident damage claims. Underneath Florida regulation, plaintiffs who need to take authorized motion based mostly on negligence, a element in most private damage instances, should file a lawsuit inside 4 years of the date of the automotive accident. A courtroom will refuse to listen to an damage case after 4 years, until there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant an exception.
- Wrongful dying automotive accident claims. When a liked one dies in a motorcar accident or from accidents sustained in a motorcar accident, relations or a private consultant of the deceased might file a wrongful demise declare towards the allegedly liable social gathering. Eligible relations should take motion shortly as a result of the statute of limitation for wrongful demise lawsuits underneath Florida regulation is 2 years after the passing of a liked one.
- Product legal responsibility damage claims. Typically automotive accidents are brought on by faulty automobiles or faulty automotive elements like tires or brake pads. In these conditions, private damage attorneys might search compensation from the producer by way of a product legal responsibility lawsuit. When a defect outcomes in damage, a four-year statute of limitation applies. Nevertheless, in the occasion a faulty automotive or automotive half outcomes in demise, the two-year statute of limitation for wrongful dying fits applies.
- Car accident damage claims towards the federal government. In instances the place a driver in a metropolis, county, or state car causes an accident, or poorly maintained roads result in a automotive accident, victims might sue the federal government in a private damage lawsuit. Underneath Florida regulation, victims have three years from the date of the accident to take authorized motion towards a authorities entity.
- Property injury claims. Those that need to sue for property injury from a automotive accident together with car injury or loss have the identical four-year statute of limitation as those that have been injured in a automotive accident.
Extensions to Statutes of Limitation in Florida Car Accident Instances
Florida regulation clearly outlines the timelines for authorized motion when a sufferer needs to sue after a automotive accident, however there are exceptions to those deadlines. The next are some of the most typical exceptions which may give the courtroom a purpose to increase the statute of limitation for a specific automotive accident case:
Availability of the Defendant
Submitting a civil go well with towards one other social gathering requires serving papers on the defendant. If the defendant leaves Florida after the date of damage and earlier than the submitting of a lawsuit, the courtroom will cease the clock till the defendant returns to the state or could be served in an applicable method outdoors of the state. Equally, if the defendant evades a courtroom summons by hiding or “going underground,” the courtroom will cease the statute of limitation clock.
If a defendant makes use of a false id to keep away from a lawsuit, the courtroom will prolong the statute of limitation till related events find the defendant and his true id.
If the sufferer of a automotive accident suffered extreme or catastrophic accidents that forestall submitting a declare, Florida regulation provides victims seven years from the date of the accident to take authorized motion. A sufferer who suffered critical burns and wishes long-term hospitalization for restoration or a sufferer in a coma after an accident are examples of conditions which may warrant this type of exception.
The appliance of the delayed discovery rule is one more reason that the courtroom may prolong a statute of limitation; this implies the statute of limitation clock doesn’t begin till the date that a sufferer discovers an damage or the date in which an inexpensive individual ought to have found an damage. Delayed discovery is usually related in medical malpractice instances and product legal responsibility instances, however not as a lot in automotive accident instances; nevertheless, automotive accident accidents that don’t current signs instantly may delay the statute of limitation clock.
A traumatic mind damage (TBI) is a standard instance of a automotive accident damage the place delayed discovery is perhaps related. Florida makes use of this rule to ensure victims have sufficient time to get their declare filed after discovering an damage. Some accidents, like TBIs, don’t present signs for weeks or months. A light TBI or a concussion might heal shortly, however the extent of the damage may be higher and the sufferer won’t uncover this for a while.
Mentally incompetent individuals and youngsters who’re dependent on guardians, mother and father, or caregivers want somebody to file a automotive accident damage lawsuit on their behalf. Delayed discovery typically applies in these instances, however the courtroom may additionally prolong, or ‘toll,’ a statute of limitation for a minor who was beneath 18 and nobody filed a go well with for them. Typically courts begin the statute of limitation clock for an injured minor once they flip 18. Equally, courts typically prolong the statute of limitation for an injured one that is mentally incompetent till somebody information a declare on their behalf.
Statutes of Repose in Florida Car Accident Instances
A statute of repose is one other sort of regulation that locations deadlines on private damage instances, however they have a tendency to favor the defendant by placing an absolute restrict on taking authorized motion. A statute of repose may begin the clock previous to the damage. Usually talking, statutes of repose don’t apply to automotive accident claims in Florida, until the automotive accident declare can also be a merchandise legal responsibility declare. Faulty product claims in Florida are topic to each statutes of limitation and statutes of repose.
Beneath Florida regulation, a sufferer might not provoke authorized motion for merchandise legal responsibility, together with wrongful dying, to recuperate damages brought on by a product that has an anticipated helpful life of 10 years or much less, if the damage was prompted greater than 12 years after supply of a product to its first purchaser. For instance, if a 13-year previous tire blew out and triggered an accident, an injured social gathering can’t sue even when the tire was faulty. The statute of repose goes on to state that the primary purchaser should not have been promoting or leasing the product to make use of it as a element half. This prevents a automotive producer from suing a automotive elements firm who made a faulty half.
What if the Statute of Limitation Runs out on My Car Accident Declare?
For those who attempt to file a private damage lawsuit in your automotive accident declare after the statute of limitation window has closed, the protection will transfer to dismiss the case based mostly on your late submitting. One of the aforementioned exceptions might supply good trigger for the courtroom to listen to your case, however many occasions the courtroom gained’t hear the case. As soon as the courtroom dismisses your case, you’re barred from in search of damages on your accidents regardless of fault, negligence, or the power of your declare. Hiring an skilled automotive accident lawyer quickly after your accident is the easiest way to just remember to don’t run into timing points and miss out on recovering compensation that you simply deserve.
Florida Private Damage Safety (PIP) Insurance coverage Protection
Drivers who’ve a legitimate Florida license plate should carry a minimal of $10,000 in private damage safety (PIP) and $10,000 of property injury legal responsibility (PDL). Florida is a no-fault insurance coverage state, which signifies that when a automotive accident happens, injured events file claims underneath their very own insurance coverage insurance policies earlier than suing the opposite driver. As soon as the coverage limits are met or exceeded, a automotive accident damage sufferer might file a private damage go well with. Your trusted lawyer will information you thru these processes and advise you when or if you should escalate your insurance coverage declare to a lawsuit whereas being aware of the statute of limitation that applies to your specific automotive accident declare.
Instant Steps After a Car Accident in Florida
When you have been in a automotive accident in Florida, take the next steps to maximise your odds of recovering damages in your damage:
- Search medical consideration. Your well being and security and the well being and security of anybody concerned in automotive crash stay prime precedence. For those who weren’t instantly hospitalized or taken to the emergency division, it’s essential to get checked out by your physician as quickly as attainable. A robust automotive accident declare requires proof that your accidents have been a end result of the automotive accident and never sustained elsewhere. Medical documentation offers leverage for negotiating a settlement and proof of accidents for the courtroom. Some accidents aren’t instantly obvious, so be aware of signs in the times and weeks after your accident. Remember that you need to search immediate medical consideration to acquire advantages underneath your personal PIP insurance coverage coverage.
- Hold data of financial loss. After your automotive accident you may need to overlook work, so it is advisable present proof of loss of revenue. Moreover, you is perhaps amassing medical payments and different bills comparable to repairs on your car and journey to and from physician visits. Doc spending associated to your accident and damage and hold all of your receipts and payments to share together with your lawyer.
- Don’t talk with the opposite celebration’s insurance coverage firm. In extreme accidents that clearly exceed PIP limits and reveal clear negligence, the opposite driver’s insurance coverage firm may contact you and give you a settlement. Insurance coverage corporations practice adjusters to attempt to get you to make statements that you simply share fault in the accident. A settlement supply may sound like quite a bit of cash, however it’s typically a lot lower than you deserve and chatting with the corporate may scale back the worth of your declare. Let an skilled lawyer deal with all negotiations with insurance coverage corporations and different related events when you focus on recovering out of your accidents.
- Don’t speak about your case with associates or household. Insurance coverage corporations who’re investigating your automotive accident will speak to these round you to collect proof that helps them keep away from paying out a declare. Not sharing particulars with family and friends protects them from saying one thing that could be twisted towards you later on. Moreover, it’s not in your greatest curiosity to submit any particulars of your accident on social media or any private posts which may trigger an insurance coverage service to argue that your accidents aren’t extreme.
Contact an Lawyer Earlier than The Statute of Limitation Runs Out on Your Car Accident Declare
Many automotive accidents solely outcome in minor accidents, or no accidents in any respect, and don’t require submitting a automotive accident damage lawsuit. But if you or a beloved one sustains a extreme damage or loses a life in a automotive accident, it may be essential to hunt the recommendation of an skilled automotive accident lawyer immediately to make sure you don’t miss the deadline for submitting a declare. Contact the expert automotive accident attorneys at Dolman Regulation Group in St. Petersburg at (727) 222-6922 for a free session to debate the small print of your accident.
Dolman Regulation Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
St. Petersburg Private Damage Lawyer