statute of limitations florida

Have you ever wondered what the statute of limitations really is? Or why it exists? The statute of limitations is an important legal principle that limits the amount of time someone has to file a lawsuit. When it comes to personal injuries, you must file a lawsuit within the time allotted by the statute of limitations. If you don’t, you forfeit your right to file a suit for your injuries or reimbursement for medical expenses.

It’s always a good idea to file a lawsuit sooner rather than later. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or because of a defective product, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to find out what the statute of limitations is for your situation.

Auto Accidents and Injuries

In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injuries caused by a car accident is just four years. So if you have injuries that were caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault, don’t wait to file a suit, especially if your injuries are serious or will result in permanent disability. It’s best to get your case started as soon as possible.


Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t survive after an accident. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you or the victim’s family members only have two years to file a wrongful death suit. While it’s true that filing a wrongful death suit won’t bring your loved one back, it can ensure that the party who caused their death is held accountable. It can also ensure that the surviving family members, including the victim’s children, are provided for.

Construction Accident

If you are injured in a construction accident in Florida, you have up to four years to file a personal injury lawsuit, similar to an auto accident. But that’s only if you were not working on the construction site. If you were a worker at a construction site and were injured on the job, you would need to file a worker’s compensation suit. The statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation suit is just two years

Medical Malpractice

If you were the victim of medical malpractice that resulted in personal injuries within the state of Florida, you would have just two years to file a personal injury suit against the hospital or the medical professional that caused the injury.

Considerations That May Extend or Shorten the Statute of Limitations in Florida

While in most cases, the statute of limitations has a time limit, there are some cases where you can pause the statute of limitations. Some of the instances in which you may be able to pause the statute of limitations to prevent time from running out before you can file a lawsuit are when:

  • The plaintiff is a minor under 18
  • The plaintiff is mentally incapacitated
  • The defendant left the state of Florida before the lawsuit was filed
  • The defendant is concealing themselves to avoid the lawsuit
There may be other mitigating factors that can pause the statute of limitations. That’s why the best thing you can do is talk with an experienced personal injury attorney about the particular circumstances of your situation.

When Does the Statute of Limitations “Clock” Start?

In most cases, when you are injured in an accident or at work, you know right away that you’re injured. However, sometimes injuries don’t appear right away after an accident. Other times, it may not be clear how serious an injury is until much later. Sometimes people don’t seek medical treatment right away because they don’t think that an injury is severe but realize its severity after some time. That’s why in Florida, the clock on the statute of limitations starts as soon as you know, or reasonably should have known, that you were injured. So, if you discover an injury at a significant length of time after the accident, that moment that you become aware of the injury is when the clock starts. BK Law offers a free consultation and case evaluation for personal injury victims. Contact us now if you have been injured, and we’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.