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St Augustine, FL – Car Accident at US-1 and Stokes Landing Rd Intersection

Options if You Miss Statute of Limitations After Car Accident

Approximately 403,000 car accidents in Florida occurred in 2018 alone, with over 236,000 people hospitalized due to these collisions. The aftermath of a car accident can have a huge impact on your life, which is why victims are urged to act quickly and speak with a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Not only is it a good idea to start collecting evidence as soon as possible, but you also do not want to miss the statute of limitations in the state of Florida.

Understanding the Florida Statute of Limitations 

If you want to successfully bring a personal injury claim after a car accident, you have to abide by a set of rules and deadlines. One of these deadlines is known as the statute of limitations, which is how much time you have to initially bring your claim before you miss your chance to do so. Many states give plenty of time to meet the statute of limitations before the clock stops ticking and you are no longer able to bring your claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years in personal injury cases.

Options if You Miss Your Filing Deadlines 

Generally, if you have missed filing your claim before the statute of limitations runs out, you will not be able to file your lawsuit and the case will be dismissed. This means that you will miss out on receiving damages in your case. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including the following:

Discovery: The statute of limitations can sometimes be extended under what is referred to as the “discovery rule.” This applies to those who did not know that they had an injury claim to file. For example, what if you received a spinal cord injury due to your accident but you find out years later? Under the discovery rule, the clock for the statute of limitations will not start ticking until you find out about your injuries.

Options if You Miss Statute of Limitations After Car AccidentDefendant’s Absence: Another exception occurs when the defendant is not present in the state where the lawsuit is filed. Many states will have a pause on these claims. However, you as the plaintiff must be able to show that the defendant was actually out of the state and could not be present.

Legal Disability: If the plaintiff is a minor or has been declared mentally incapacitated, the statute of limitations does not apply in the same way. In many states, a minor will have until they are 21 to file a personal injury claim. These aspects must also be proven.

Of course, there are many reasons for an extension of the statute of limitations. These include military service time, if the plaintiff or defendant was in prison, or if the statute of limitations expired on a weekend or holiday. You don’t want to delay, which is why you should speak with a skilled attorney as soon as possible.

How a Florida Car Accident Attorney Can Help 

If you have been injured in a Florida car accident, you generally have four years to bring your claim until you miss your chance to do so. Because of this, you should act quickly to receive the help you deserve from a personal injury attorney with years of experience. At Sheftall & Associates, we are dedicated to helping you through this challenging time so that you do not miss out on an opportunity for the compensation you deserve. You should never stand alone during these complex times. Please contact a Florida accident attorney to get started at (904) 569-6025.