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What Is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Florida?

The time following a car accident can be stressful and confusing. After you prioritize your health and safety and get all the medical treatment you need, the next thing you’ll need to focus on is getting your medical expenses and other damages paid for as quickly as possible.

It’s never good to sit on your rights, especially when it comes to your physical, emotional, and financial recovery. Even if you don’t need the money at this very moment, you should always act fast after a car accident in order to avoid missing the statute of limitations.

In general, statutes of limitations are designed to put an end to controversies. If you don’t resolve your claim or file a lawsuit within the allowed time period, you are forever barred from bringing legal action and obtaining your rightful compensation in the future.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Your Case

The specific statute of limitations for a particular case will vary depending on the circumstances of the accident and who the legal action is being brought against.

In Florida, you have five years to bring an action on a contract, like uninsured motorist claims against an insurance company. But, if you are suing an individual for negligence, such as if someone else caused your car accident or trip and fall, you have a four-year limit to do so.

If you are bringing legal action against the State or one of its agencies or subdivisions, Florida Statutes require written notice, in a very specific form, within three years. Your attorney can review your case and determine whether this is the necessary action to take.

The shortest statute of limitations is if the injury results in wrongful death or is caused by professional (medical) malpractice—victims or their families only have two years to begin any legal action.

Why You Should Act Fast

Look, the last thing you want to do after being injured is deal with a long, drawn-out legal battle. But it’s important to remember waiting to start the process can be detrimental to your long-term recovery.

It can take months for an attorney to obtain all the information and evidence required to evaluate your claim and prepare a lawsuit properly. Some law firms won't even accept a case within a year of the statute of limitations.

The best way to ensure that a qualified lawyer has the time necessary to evaluate your claim correctly is to act fast, especially for cases that have a short statute of limitations like wrongful death and professional negligence claims.

At Dismuke Law, our board-certified and award-winning car accident attorneys are the dedicated legal fighters you want on your side. We will give your case the timely attention it needs to ensure that all deadlines are met and you receive the compensation you need to recover as quickly as possible.

Contact our Lakeland personal injury attorneys at (863) 292-6922 to get started with a free case evaluation.