How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in FL?
If you have been injured at the hands of a negligent or irresponsible individual, it is important to understand that you have a limited amount of time to pursue a lawsuit against them. Each state in the U.S. upholds their own statute of limitations for personal injurycases, meaning that the amount of time that a victim will have to pursue compensation will depend upon the state in which they were injured. In Florida, an individual has 4 years from the date of their injury to officially file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Failing to take action within this designated amount of time may jeopardize an individual’s ability to recover damages, even if they have a solid case to make, so it is crucial that any type of accident is followed up with prompt legal action.
Now, you may be wondering what happens if a victim’s injury is not discovered right away. Do they still have the right to file a lawsuit? Well, in the state of Florida, there are certain exceptions that have implemented for this very reason. If an individual does not discover that someone else’s negligent actions have caused them harm for a period of time after the act was committed, they may still be able to pursue compensation through “the discovery rule.” For example, if a patient has undergone surgery in which a foreign object was accidentally left inside of their body, they might not notice for months, or even years, that they have been injured.
Fortunately, the statute of limitations may be extended long enough for a lawsuit to be filed—but even then, there is usually a cap on the maximum amount of time that can elapse between the date of injury and the time that legal action is taken. Similarly, it is important to recognize that certain types of personal injury cases are subject to a different set of limitations. Although most cases fall under a 4 year statute of limitations, medical malpractice claims are handled a little differently. If you were injured by a doctor in West Palm Beach, for example, you would only have 2 years from the date of injury to file a malpractice suit.
Although the discovery rule may still apply, a patient still only has 2 years from the date that the injury was discovered, or should have been discovered under reasonable circumstances, to take action—with the exception that no case can be pursued after a total of 4 years have expired. Since there are so many different rules and exceptions that may apply to any given case, it may a good idea to consult with a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney if you are looking to file a lawsuit. To find out how long you will have to pursue your particular case, contact The Law Offices of Casey D. Shomo, P.A. today.