How Long After an Accident Can You File a Personal Injury Claim


How Long Do You Have? The Timeline on a Personal Injury Claim 

The amount of time you have to file a claim after an accident is determined by the state’s statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time that parties have to initiate legal proceedings. The timeline begins at the date of the alleged offense or accident and ends at different points dependent upon the state in which the accident occurred. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally four years – meaning you generally have four years to file a claim. This timeline can change, however, depending upon various factors such as a party’s age, type or level of injury, and residence, among others. Below, we will explain some of the factors that determine the length of allowed time between accident and claim. 

Negligence Cases have Four Years to File Claims

In general, if a personal injury case involves negligence, the injured party has four years to file a claim in Florida. Setting a limit on time following an accident helps prevent individuals from perpetually threatening litigation. It also increases the viability of witnesses and the availability of medical/property repair/etc documents.

Medical Malpractice Cases have Two Years to File Claims

If you miss the two-year deadline and try to file a lawsuit, the court will likely dismiss your case. The attorneys at Cohen & Newmark recommend filing your case as soon as possible. Our team of professionals and attorneys will help you navigate the arduous tasks associated with compiling evidence and filing claims while you focus on healing.

Issues that Change the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida

Situations that may result in a modified timeline include:

  • If either party in the claim is in another state
  • If fraud is involved
  • If a defendant files bankruptcy
  • If the cause of an injury is not determined until years after an accident
  • If either party in the claim is incapacitated or ruled incapacitated by a court
  • If the accident is a result of medical malpractice or causes wrongful death
  • If the injured party is a minor under age 18

When the victim of an accident is a minor, a few outcomes are possible. A child’s statute of limitations is either seven years after the accident, or when the child turns 18. If a parent or guardian is present, the adult can approve an offer and settle a minor’s case.  Further, in efforts to protect the child’s rights, a court must approve a minor’s claim if the child is seriuosly injuried, the settlement is over $15,000 or there is a conflict of interest between the child and guardian.

Because of the variations in allowed times, requirements of each claim, and differences in each case, it is recommended that you hire a personal injury attorney with experience and success in navigating personal injury claims – immediate and delayed. If you fail to file your claim within the legally allowed timeframe, your case will likely be dismissed and any compensation that could have been rewarded will be lost. If you have been the victim in an acccident, eand are unsure of whether you can receive compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, or other financial hardships, call Cohen & Newmark. A free consultation will determine if representation is best for you.

Justice is our everlasting mission. 
At Cohen & Newmark PLLC. we pride ourselves on providing our clients 
with the most professional legal representation during their time of need. Cohen & Newmark PLLC. has a national reputation for successfully helping victims obtain justice.

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