Statutes of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

Woman sitting on hospital bed holding injured leg

The last thing many want to think about after a personal injury such as a car or workplace accident is the work that would go into creating a case. It’s understandable that many want to forget about the accident and take the time to heal. In other instances, one may not realize the severity of an injury and instead, leave it unchecked for months or years. These are examples of situations where the statute of limitations may not be top of mind but should be.

If you are wanting to take legal action and receive compensation for a personal injury, you have to remember that there are time limits in place that dictate when you are able to seek legal action.

Statutes of Limitations

There are several events that can “start the clock” on your statutes of limitations. This can depend on the state you are living in or the conditions of the event. A few common instances of this include:

  • Your date of harm. This is the day when the personal injury occurred to you. If this was a motor vehicle injury, it would be the day of the accident or if it was a medical malpractice, it would be the day of treatment, and so on.
  • When the date that harm is discovered. Sometimes you don’t immediately recognize an incident because the harm is dormant. For example, you may have been in an accident where typical bumps and bruises occur, but pain lingers for months and a bigger issue is discovered.
  • When the date harm should have been This is not as frequently used in cases but can appear. This would be the day you should have discovered the harm but instead did not for some reason.

Each state also has its own laws regarding statutes of limitations. In Florida, you are able to file a lawsuit for up to four years after a car accident. For other cases like medical malpractice or wrongful death, two years is the timeframe legal action should be taken.

Exceptions to Statutes of Limitations

In addition to the basis for determining the statute of limitations, there are also special circumstances in each state that can shorten or extend the time you can seek compensation. For example, common factors that can affect this include if the injured person was a minor or mentally incapacitated or if the defendant leaves the state after an accident.

In Florida, circumstances that lead to an extension or reduction time for the victim’s statute of limitations include the type of case, the age of the victim, the injury itself, medical malpractice, product liability, or any claims against the government.

The best course of action is to get in touch with a legal team as soon as possible. This gives them the most time to build a strong case and help you file a claim.

Have questions on your personal injury case in Sarasota, Venice or the surrounding areas in Florida? Contact Erjavec Injury Law today at 941-907-1133 for a free lawsuit consultation with our personal injury lawyers.