No matter if you have been hurt due to a car accident, slip, and fall, or any other situation where another’s negligence caused you harm, it is critical that you understand that there are time limits under Florida state law to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation. Referred to as statutes of limitations, these deadlines are governed by state law and apply to all types of personal injury lawsuits, but not necessarily in the same manner. Below are detailed as to what the filing deadline is in Florida, why it is critical for an injured victim to meet it, and the circumstances surrounding situations when this deadline may be extended.
Deadline to File Pensacola Personal Injury Lawsuits
Florida law requires that personal injury claims seeking monetary compensation for an action based on negligence be filed in the court system within four years from the date of the underlying accident or event. This deadline governs virtually all types of personal injury lawsuits that are based on the legal theory of negligence.
If an injured victim tries to file a Florida personal injury lawsuit outside of the four-year deadline, the defendant – or the party sued for damages – will certainly point this out to the court presiding over the matter. Consequently, the case will be summarily dismissed. Should this happen, a victim’s ability to seek monetary compensation for injuries is lost – no matter how significant the harm is or how clear the defendant’s liability is. There are, however, some limited and rare exceptions under Florida law that allow the statute of limitations to be extended.
Exceptions to Filing Deadlines in Pensacola
Florida law identifies several factual scenarios that may allow the delay – or pausing – of the running of the statute of limitations in a Pensacola personal injury lawsuit. In essence, these scenarios legally allow an extension of the four-year filing deadline set by the statute. They include situations where:
- The injured victim, at the time of the underlying accident, had been legally deemed incapacitated by temporary or permanent mental illness. The time limit to file a lawsuit is within seven (7) years from the date of the accident;
- The person or entity who allegedly caused the accident (the defendant(s)) that caused the injuries left the state of Florida after the underlying accident and before the personal injury lawsuit could be filed; and
- The person or entity who allegedly caused the accident (the defendant(s)), took steps to a) change his or her name or identity or b) conceal him or herself in Florida, in order to prevent the lawsuit from being served.
These exceptions to the statute of limitations, and additional ones available under the law are spelled out in more detail in Florida’s statute, section 95.051.
Pensacola Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have questions about how Florida’s statute of limitations applies to your Pensacola personal injury case – particularly if the deadline is looming or it has already passed – contact the Florida lawyers at the Stevenson Klotz Law Firm. Our skilled personal injury attorneys can help explain your rights and obligations under the law.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.