When Is It Too Late to File a Personal Injury Claim?
As a personal injury attorney I get a lot of questions from friends, family, and people I meet. It’s one of my favorite parts of my job. There is no exception to this given the current pandemic.
One of the questions that I am currently being asked is whether or not it is too late to file a claim for an accident that occurred weeks (or months) ago. This question has been coming up a lot because of Covid-19 and the entire State of Florida being shut down. Now that Florida is reopening, people are wondering if it is too late to pursue a personal injury claim.
The simple answer is no, it is not.
In Florida there are specific time frames to bring a claim against someone who caused an injury. The time frames vary depending on the type of injury and the cause of action. Generally speaking the time frames for a personal injury case will be either 3, 4, or 5 years depending on the facts of each case.
However, that is the time frame to file a lawsuit in court. The simple truth is that the majority of my cases settle outside of court. That means that if the case settles outside of court, my clients will not have to attend a deposition or trial and there will be no public record of the case on the court’s website. A case may settle without the necessity of a lawsuit because both the insurance company representing the at-fault party and my client agree that it is more beneficial to resolve the claim without getting the court system involved.
How Much Time Do You Have To File A Claim?
So what is the time frame for filing a claim with the person who injured you? Is it too late to file a claim for an accident that happened in February or March of this year?
Again, the answer is no. You can file a claim against the person who caused a motor vehicle accident or the business that failed to keep their premises safe at any point in time before the statutory deadline to file a lawsuit. This means that if you were involved in an automobile crash in February of 2020 or a slip and fall accident in January of 2020, you are still well within the time frame to file a claim.
There are complications that might arise from filing a claim late. For example, in Florida an automobile occupant is entitled to $10,000.00 of insurance coverage for medical expenses arising after an accident (called “personal injury protection” benefits of “PIP”). However, you may not qualify for your personal injury protection benefits if you did not treat for an injury after a car accident within 14 days of the accident.
As you might guess, if you were involved in a car accident in January, February, March or April of this year and have not yet retained an attorney to represent you, time is of the essence. If you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall accident, trip and fall accident, or any other type of accident at the beginning of this year and have not yet retained an attorney, contact me today to speak about pursuing your claim. I’ve already reviewed numerous cases where the accident/injury happened months or even years ago and I may be able to quickly identify if there is a viable claim to file or not.