No one goes out and expects to be involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, there are hundreds and thousands of car accidents that happen across the world every single day. And if you have been involved in one, you would know what kind of stressful situations car accidents can entail. You might be shaken and find it hard to remember the things you need to do in such a riled-up situation. Especially in a state like Florida, there are vehicle accidents happening in almost every nook and corner due to very high traffic. Out of them, many car accidents can inflict serious injuries and costly damages. One might struggle to recover from serious physical injuries along with fighting for justice in a situation like this. In such cases, it is always advisable to hire a good accident lawyer in Florida to work through the car accident lawsuit processes as well as complex laws involving personal injury. This article aims to throw light on the timeline and processes of a car accident lawsuit in Florida so that you understand what you would need to do in such a stressful event. 

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a car accident?  

If you are injured in an automobile accident caused by another driver’s carelessness, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation. Different states have varying statutes of limitations. This information solely relates to vehicle accident situations in Florida. The deadlines apply to your claim for personal injury and property damage. In Florida, if you miss a specific deadline for filing a lawsuit, your claim could be eternally banned. These are absolute deadlines and the time limits are known as the statute of limitations.  

In Florida, the statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury or property damage claim linked to any kind of automobile accident is four years from the date of the accident. This implies that the victim of an automobile accident has precisely four years to initiate a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If an auto accident victim fails to file a case within the stipulated time, they may forever lose their entitlement to justice for injuries sustained in the collision. 

The statute of limitations starts running if the parties involved knew or should have had reasonable knowledge of the harm caused by the motor vehicle accident. In almost every accident case including those involving pedestrians, cars, and two-wheelers- victims are often aware of any physical injury to themselves, their friends and families, and their vehicle. If a person passed away in a vehicle accident and their family wants to bring a wrongful death case against the individual who caused the accident, it gets a little complex.  

In case of wrongful death: 

There are effectively two statutes of limitations applicable to wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. The basic statute of limitations that applies to the vast majority of wrongful death auto accident lawsuits stipulates that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the occurrence of the underlying cause of action. 

The Florida Wrongful Death Act, however, stipulates that a wrongful death case must be based on an automobile accident that would have allowed the deceased to receive rightful justice if he or she had survived. Typically, this implies that you may only file a claim for wrongful death if another party was responsible.

Therefore, if the deceased dies after the statute of limitations relevant to the auto accident has expired and no lawsuit was filed prior to the decedent’s death, then any wrongful death case based on that carelessness is barred. If the deceased dies within the statute of limitations relevant to the vehicle accident, the wrongful death case may be brought if it is filed within the two-year statute of limitations applicable to wrongful death claims. 

Understanding the process of car accidents and personal injury lawsuits can get you the justice you deserve. However, it is noteworthy that Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that you would need to file a claim to get your justice irrespective of whoever is at fault. Your car accident lawsuit should have certain prerequisites for stepping out of the no-fault car insurance scheme and bringing the at-fault driver to justice. You would need to seek justice on your own and hence hiring a good car accident lawyer becomes almost non-negotiable. Get in touch with a reputable car accident lawyer in Florida in case you are involved in an automobile mishap.

By Manali