James D. Payer | December 6, 2023 | Car Accidents
Being involved in a car accident is a distressing experience, and the aftermath can be just as challenging. If you suffered injuries or other losses, you may want to file a claim against those responsible. This begs the question, “How long after an accident can you file a claim?”
Understanding the timeline for filing a car accident claim in Florida is important to ensure your rights are protected. An experienced car accident lawyer in Orlando can help you navigate the process of filing your car accident claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in Florida?
When filing your car accident claim, understanding the statute of limitations is critical. Statutes of limitation are laws that set deadlines for filing lawsuits. In Florida, the deadline for personal injury claims, including car accident injuries, is typically two years from your accident date. This timeframe is crucial because it determines whether you can seek compensation for your injuries or other damages in court.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Matter?
Failing to file your car accident claim within two years can have costly effects. Missing the deadline generally bars you from suing in court. This can be devasting if you are pursuing compensation for your injuries and other losses.
But why have the statute of limitations at all? The goal is to ensure that legal claims are filed promptly. It also ensures that claims are brought while evidence is fresh.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Florida?
While the general statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Florida is two years, several exceptions affect this timeline. Understanding the impact these exceptions may have on your case is essential.
Potential exceptions to the statute of limitations include:
- Minor victims: The statute of limitations is typically extended when the victim is a minor. In Florida, the two-year timeframe for filing a car accident claim usually does not start until the victim reaches the age of 18. This means they generally have until their 20th birthday to file a car accident claim. However, this extension is subject to the specifics of the case and other legal factors.
- Mental incapacity: If the victim is mentally incapacitated, the statute of limitations might be extended until the incapacity is resolved.
- Delayed injuries: Not all car accident injuries are immediate. Some injuries, such as certain brain or internal injuries, may only become apparent or diagnosed later. In these cases, the statute of limitations may not begin until the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. This legal concept is known as the “discovery rule.”
- Government entities: Special rules apply if a government entity is involved in an accident. Claims against government bodies often have shorter filing deadlines and require specific procedures.
An Orlando car accident lawyer can help you determine whether these exceptions apply to your claim so that it can be filed in time.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File My Orlando Car Accident Claim?
You are not required to have a lawyer to file your car accident claim, but it is often beneficial to maximize your compensation.
A car accident lawyer helps with the following:
- Evaluating your car accident claim
- Developing a legal strategy
- Communicating with insurance companies
- Leading settlement negotiations
- Gathering evidence
- Valuating your damages
- Representing you in court
The role of a personal injury lawyer in car accident claims is multifaceted. Their experience and support can help you ensure your rights are protected.
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Orlando, FL
Understanding the timeframe for filing a car accident claim in Florida is important to protect your right to secure fair compensation. While you generally have two years to file your car accident claim, you should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome in your case.
An Orlando car accident lawyer can improve your chances of filing a successful claim and offer you the support you need during recovery.