If you have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, the first thing you should do is focus on your recovery. After all, when trying to heal from a devastating injury, it can be tough to focus on anything else. While your recovery is crucial, you should also start to think about what will happen once your life returns to normal.
If you intend on filing a personal injury lawsuit in the future, you’ll want to safeguard your constitutional rights as soon as possible after your accident. While you are not required to file your claim right away, the clock starts ticking from the day of your accident.
Below, this personal injury attorney in Brandon, Florida is going to discuss everything you’ll need to know about the timeline for filing a personal injury claim.
Your legal deadline is the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations in Florida governs how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. In other words, you only have a certain period to bring a legal claim against the at-fault parties. If you let this date pass without taking any legal action, you generally lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries. With that said, if you do wish to file a lawsuit, you’ll want to partner with a Brandon personal injury attorney and get the process started sooner rather than later.
There are different statutes of limitations for different personal injury cases in Florida.
When your injury is the result of negligence, you usually have four years from the date of your injury to settle or sue. However, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice victim is two years.
While these are the basic deadlines for personal injury claims, the statute of limitations can get far more complex. Exceptions and conditions can alter the basic four- or two-year deadline, and other situations can cause the expiration date to “stay.” A stay is a condition or occurrence that keeps the statute of limitations from running for the specified length of time under Florida law.
Modifications and exceptions to the statute of limitations occur when:
- The plaintiff or defendant is not in the State of Florida.
- The court declares that a plaintiff or defendant is incapacitated.
- The potential defendant avoids service through deception and manipulation.
- The defendant declares bankruptcy.
- Certain injuries do not have a clear etiology until years later.
- The defendant committed an intentional tort based on abuse.
- The injured plaintiff is a minor.
- Wrongful death was caused by the accident.
As any personal injury attorney in Brandon, Florida will tell you, the deadlines get considerably more complex when the plaintiff is a minor. The statute of limitations for a minor is either seven years, or until the child reaches the age of 18. A child is not deemed competent to settle their own personal injury case. However, a minor’s case can be resolved if a parent or a court-appointed guardian accepts the settlement offer. In cases when a minor is seriously injured, the settlement is $15,000 or more, or the child’s legal situation creates a conflict with the parents, the court must approve the claim. The modifications and exceptions listed above also apply to a minor’s injury claim.
Looking for the Most Trusted Personal Injury Attorney in Brandon, Florida?
If you have been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, and if you’re looking to partner with the most trusted personal injury attorney in Brandon, Florida, look no further than the team at O’Toole Law Group. We have been representing personal injury victims throughout the Brandon area for decades, and we would be more than happy to represent you as well.
Contact us today at 863-533-5525 to schedule a free legal consultation with our staff.