Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
Personal Injury cases are complex because of the number of factors that are involved and the numerous versions of a scenario that can play out in a real world setting. One of the major legal complications is the statute of limitations, or the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against a defendant. This deadline for the victim to file a personal injury lawsuit is 4 years from the date of the accident, with several contingencies. For most cases the deadline starts on the date of the accident, however, in some instances a person may not realize the damages and in these situations the date starts when the victim reasonably “discovers” their injuries, or the link between the incident and the injury. The statute of limitations can also be temporarily tolled or paused if something beyond the victim’s control happens, for example, the defendant fled the state or the mental health of the victim becomes questionable.
Statute of Limitations in Depth
Statute of limitation, in general, has many considerations that may alter the deadline in each scenario. It can depend on the type of the case, the age of the victim, or the injury itself. If the type of case involves medical malpractice, then there are many more specifications to look through than if its, for instance, a claim involving product liability. A victim in the case of medical malpractice will only have 2 years to file a case from the date of incident. Florida’s statute of repose puts the responsibility on the victim to come forward, file a case, and to do it within a certain deadline. If the damage is not discovered until later, the deadline can be tolled and the victim has 2 years from the discovery date. For child victims of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is 4 years from the date of injury or until the child’s turns 8 years old, whichever is later. There is a hard deadline of 7 years, no matter what no claims can be filed beyond that. However, victims injured by defective products, in general, have 4 years from the date of their accident to file a claim. Per Florida Statute 95.031, products are presumed to have an expected “useful life” of 10 years or less, which means injured consumers cannot file a product liability claim after 12 years. Less factors requires less rules. In cases involving sexual abuse, Florida has worked to expand the statute of limitations for victims. These cases may be filed 7 years after a victim turns 18 or 4 years after the victim is no longer dependent on the abuser or from the date they discover their injuries and its link to abuse (whichever is later). If the victim was a minor and under the age of 16 at the time than their case can be filed indefinitely. New rules and legislation are coming out as this area of law picks up more media attention.
Claims against the government are filed with different rules and are subject to their own procedures but most likely the statute of limitations will be much shorter. Every new case brings a new set of complications and our law firm can help sort through these complications and help you file a suit that allows you to get everything you are legally deserved.
Common Statutes of Limitations for Typical Personal Injury Cases
Generally, the statute of limitations for civil injury cases in Florida are as follows (as we have learned these deadlines are very subject to change):
- Personal Injury – 4 years, including:
- Assault / Battery – 2 years
- Product Liability – 2, 4, or 5 years
- Wrongful Death – 2 years
- Workers’ Compensation – 2 years
- Medical Malpractice – 2 years
Consult With An Attorney Today to Find Out More
The topic of personal injury statute of limitations in Florida extends far beyond what is written above and can be a confusing matter to anyone not working with it on a daily basis. Come to MANGAL, PLLC today to consult with Attorney Avnish Mangal to learn more and see how the statute of limitations applies to your case.