If you have been injured in an accident, you may not realize the seriousness of your injuries until some time later. It is very common for personal injuries to manifest after the accident, especially spinal injuries, neck problems, or head trauma.
Perhaps you did not think your neck or back injury was serious at the time, but it is still bothering you a year later. If this is the case, you may wonder if you could still sue the person at fault. Chances are, you can.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
Every state has some version of a Statute of Limitations. You can no longer assert your rights in a lawsuit after the time period specified in the statute.
This law serves two primary purposes:
1. It allows evidence and memories to remain fresh. If you wait too long after an accident, then you may not be able to find accurate witnesses or the evidence may have already been destroyed.
2. It also allows the party at fault to be free of liability at some point. Having a potential lawsuit hanging over your head for years could cause a great deal of anguish.
Each state’s Statute of Limitations is slightly different and it varies depending on the cause of action. For example, a claim for injury to a person has a different limitations period when compared to a breach of contract claim.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Florida has a somewhat liberal Statute of Limitations period for personal injuries compared to other states.
The following Florida Statute of Limitations periods are relevant to personal injury claims:
- Injury to Persons: 4 years
- Injury to Personal Property: 4 years
- Libel/Slander: 2 years
- Medical Malpractice: 2 to 4 years
- Wrongful Death: 2 years
- Premises Liability: 4 years
In Florida, the statute begins to run “when the last element constituting the cause of action occurs.” Florida generally applies the rule that the statute starts when the victim knew or should have known about their injuries. There are specific rules depending on the type of action, however.
Don’t Delay – Call West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
Although four years for a personal injury case may seem like a long time, it will go by quickly. It can take a significant amount of time for your attorney to evaluate and file your case as well. It is always a good idea to speak with an experienced West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after you realize you have been injured.
The law team at Fetterman & Associates, PA will consider the Statute of Limitations when we evaluate your claim. Even if you are unsure if you can still assert your claim, give us a call so we can look into it for you.
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