Every year, thousands of drivers suffer severe injuries caused by negligent drivers in the United States, and Florida is no stranger to this unfortunate reality. After a car accident, you may want to know who will be responsible for covering your injuries, losses, and property damage. Fortunately, you can hold the liable parties accountable for your losses through a personal injury claim. However, you only have a limited time to exercise your right to file a lawsuit. Our car accident attorneys at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA invite you to continue reading as we discuss this crucial matter.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim After a Car Accident in Florida?
Knowing the amount of time you have to file your personal injury claim after a car accident in Florida requires you to understand the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim in Florida. You have up to four years to file your claim if you were involved in a car crash due to another party’s negligence.
This four-year countdown will start running from the moment of the accident. Many people believe four years is enough time in which to file a claim and fight for compensation. However, every case is different, and your personal injury attorney may need this time to prepare your case. Many car accidents are complex, and gathering evidence on time is essential to your case.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations After a Car Accident in FL
It is essential to understand that there may be circumstances where the court may extend the time you have to file your claim. However, this time extension will be only granted in rare cases.
One of the factors that may persuade the court to extend the time you have to file your personal injury claim is the extent of your injuries. The court understands that a severely injured individual may not be able to file their claim because of injuries. For instance, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury and are in an induced coma, you may get an extension to file your claim. Under these circumstances, you have up to seven years to file your claim.
You may also get an extension to file your claim if the defendant in your case provided false information after the crash. Individuals responsible for an accident may provide false information if they believe they will be charged with a crime. Under such circumstances, the court may extend the time you have to file your claim until the authorities locate the liable party.
The court may also grant an extension to file your personal injury claim if there is a delayed discovery of an injury. Car accident victims may not understand the full extent of their injuries until much later. There may be injuries that take time to show symptoms. Under Florida law, the statute of limitations doesn’t start until the victim discovers the injury.
Delayed discovery of injury is common in many car accidents. This is especially true for people who have experienced injuries such as a broken or crushed pelvis, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury in Florida. Most of the time, these catastrophic injuries take time to show symptoms. Under these circumstances, you may have more time to file your claim.
When you file your claim with the court, the defendant has to be served. However, there have been cases where locating and serving the defendant can be impossible. There may be different reasons why the defendant cannot be served their papers, such as because he or she abandoned the state. If this is your case, the court – through your lawyer – can grant you an extension.
What Happens After Filing My Claim After a Car Accident in Florida?
As a plaintiff, you have the responsibility of showing the defendant’s negligence. This is one of the most critical aspects of your lawsuit. If you are unable to show negligence, the court may not hear your case, and you may lose the chance to get compensation. As a plaintiff, you will need to show four main elements: legal duty, breach of duty, causation, and harm.
The legal duty or “legal duty of reasonable care” is the obligation every individual has to act as a prudent, reasonable person. In your car accident claim, you can satisfy this element by establishing the defendant owed you a duty to drive safely. The second element in your claim requires you to show the defendant failed to adhere to their legal obligation. In other words, you are expected to provide evidence showing the defendant’s breach of their legal duty.
The third element in your case is called causation. Causation requires you to establish a clear link between the defendant’s actions or omissions and your harm. In other words, you will be required to provide evidence showing the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. Finally, you will be required to show you suffered losses due to the defendant’s breach of legal duty. Once all these elements have been satisfied, the court may grant you compensation for things such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Miami Car Accident Attorney Offering Free Consultations to Injured Victims in Florida
We can help if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver in Florida. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we are aware of the implications of a severe injury caused in a car crash. For this reason, we will work tirelessly and strategically to get you the compensation you deserve. Call our office today and schedule your free, confidential consultation. Our phone number is (305) 694-2676.