The Statute of Limitations sets the time limit for which a suit can be brought for an accident. Depending on the facts it generally ranges from 2-5 years.
The Statute of Limitations is one of the most important factors of your case. If your case is not brought within it’s time limit, it likely cannot be brought at all. This is why it is always important to let your attorney know when your accident took place.
What Does “Statute of Limitations” Mean?
The statute of limitations is a legal rule prescribing a period of limitation for the bringing of certain kinds of legal action. In layman’s terms, it’s the time established by the state that you have to take legal action for your case.
What Are The Statute of Limitations in Florida?
Depending on the issue in your case, there are multiple different lengths of time Florida allows you to bring your case before the Courts.
Some of the following are the more common times. Most statute of limitations times are found under Florida Statute 95.11.
- Breach of contract: 5 years
- Vehicle Accident injury: 4 years
- Slip and Fall resulting in injury: 4 years
- Fraud Claims: 4 years
- Wrongful Death claims: 2 years
- Claims involving the payment of wages: 2 years
- Defamation: 2 years
Why Are The Statute of Limitations Important?
Statute of limitations are extremely important to your case. If the statute of limitations have passed, it is generally impossible to sue for your injuries, and therefore you are very unlikely to recover any of the financial justice you deserve.
This is why you should not wait to contact a personal injury as soon as the accident occurs. An attorney will be able to determine how long you should wait before bringing a suit, while also making sure you don’t accidently fail to file before the statute of limitations passes.
When Does The Statute of Limitations Begin to Run?
A common question that appears, although it may not be apparent at first, is at what point the statute of limitations begins to run.
Does the timer begin when the injury is discovered? Or when the accident actually occurred? Generally, the statute of limitations begins to run when the incident that caused the injuries occurred.
For example, if a car crash occurred in 2008, and injuries were not discovered until 2010, the statute of limitations would start running in 2008, not 2010. Meaning, that for a car crash that caused injuries, the statute of limitations would run out in 2012, not 2014.
This difference is extremely important, and could mean between winning and losing your case.
Are There Exceptions to The Statute of Limitations?
There are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations, but it is important to remember that if your case does not fit into one of these specific exceptions, your case cannot be brought under any circumstances.
Some of these exceptions include:
1) When the potential defendant has left the state.
2) When the potential defendant is using a false name or doing some other action to actively conceal his identity or location so that he cannot be reasonably found.
3) Where the injured has been incapacitated after the accident (it should be noted that this exception only extends the statute of limitations to seven years).
4) Where the injured is a minor, and the minor does not have parents or a guardian, the parents or guardians interests are adverse, or the parent or guardian is unable to sue on behalf of the child for some reason.
5) Where there is an active arbitration pending that is related to the dispute at the subject of the action.
6) The discovery rule allows the statute of limitations to be postponed if the plaintiff could not have reasonably discovered the cause of the injury and the existence of the injury until after the statute had passed. This is very rare when it comes to personal injury claims, as most people will reasonably notice a slip and fall. It is more common in medical malpractice issues, where mistakes that occur during surgery may not be discovered for years.
If you do not have an exception above, you likely will not be able to sue if you miss the statute of limitations.
Can I Still Sue if The Statute of Limitations has Expired?
Not in Court. You can try and get them from the insurance company, but you have to remember that once the statute of limitations expires, you have no leverage to push the company to pay.
In today’s world, where insurance companies are generally looking out for themselves, you will have an uphill battle trying to get money from insurance companies without any threat behind it.
The statute of limitations is one of the most important subjects a lawyer could review when deciding whether to take a case or not. Missing the statute of limitations is a common reason many good cases are lost.
When you find yourself in an accident, contact a reputable personal injury attorney so that they can make sure your case is filed at the proper time.
Bulluck Law Group has the years of experience necessary to know exactly what time a suit should be filed. Contact us for a free consultation today.