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How Long Do I Have To File Suit After A Florida Auto Accident?

If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez at 813-755-9500
Auto accident lawsuits in Florida

As of March 24, 2023, the new timeline in Florida to file a lawsuit for an auto accident injury is two-years from the date the negligence occurred.

What Are the Statute of Limitations for Personal InjuryCases in Florida 2023?

For decades prior to the recent tort reform, the statute of limitations on negligence causes of action (this includes auto accidents) in Florida had been four years from when the cause of action accrued.  However, effective March 24, 2023, Fla. Stat. § 95.11, was amended to reduce the statute of limitations for negligence claims from four years down to only two years.  Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4)(a) (2023).  This generally means that an injured party that fails to file a lawsuit for his or hear auto accident injuries within two years of when the cause of action accrues, he or she will be barred from bringing the suit under the new statute of limitations.  Meaning, it’s done.

What Are Statute of Limitations?

Every state has a codified law (meaning written by the Legislature) that covers the time period you have to file a civil lawsuit against a company or person that may be liable (legally responsible) for your injury.  This is called the ‘statute of limitations.’ The statute that points to that limited window of time is usually referred to as the Statute of Limitations.

For any incident after March 25, 2023, under Florida’s new statute of limitations for personal injury cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Florida’s civil courts (this law can be found in Florida Statute § 95.11(3)). If you don’t file your case within this time window, the court will very likely refuse to hear it at all.

It is important to remember this time limit if you plan to sue because the consequences of letting it pass can be significant. The statute of limitations tells you the amount of time that you have the right to sue. Once that specified amount of time has gone by, you will likely no longer rightfully file a lawsuit, and courts will probably refuse to see your case.

Did the Statute of Limitations Change for Negligence in Florida?

Florida’s New Tort Reform Law Cuts Negligence Statute of Limitations from four years to two years, effective March 24, 2023, Fla. Stat. § 95.11.

Why Are There Statute of Limitations?

The reasoning behind keeping a limited time window for victims to file a lawsuit is based in part on the idea that you will not let that time run out if you are serious about your injury. For the most part, this is true. In a way, a state’s statute of limitations helps to prevent backlogging of cases by setting a window that will be surely used by those who are motivated to sue in order to hold negligent parties responsible.

What is the Difference Between Contributory Negligence and Comparative Negligence in Florida?

Contributory negligence is a rule that prevents an injured party from collecting any damages after a car accident if they were careless and partially to blame for the wreck. Meaning, if you are 1% at fault in a contributory negligence state, you cannot file a claim or pursue a claim whatsoever. Comparative negligence, on the other hand, allows blame to be shared and damages to be awarded based on each individual’s share of the fault.  This means, if you are found to be comparatively negligent by 25% and the jury awards $100,000, you deduct 25% ($25,000) from your recovery for your share of negligence, meaning you collect $75,000 (even though the jury awarded you $100,000 for your injuries).

To learn more about the statute of limitations and how long you have to file suit in your case, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Now with a shorter window to file a lawsuit, time is of the essence. 

We offer free consultations where an attorney can discuss your legal options with you. Call or Text 813.755.9500 or fill out and submit the online form to get yours today.

Does Florida have a 50 Percent Rule for Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence in Florida

If the comparative negligence of the defendant is less than 50 percent, then the case will be thrown out. Meaning, you collect “0”. However, if the defendant is more than 50 percent responsible but less than 100 percent, then the claimant’s fault will be subtracted from the eventual settlement or judgment.

So if you file a lawsuit against another party and the jury states you are more than 50% liable for the accident, you also collect “0” from the other party.  It used to be that you could collect whatever percentage you were awarded, but that stopped after March 24, 2023.

What is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for Wrongful Death?

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

In Florida, the statute of limitations requires that the concerned parties file a lawsuit for wrongful death within two years from the date of death. However, the deadline may extend if the defendant tries to hide the cause of death.

What is Florida’s Deadline For Filing An Auto Accident Lawsuit?

According to Florida’s statute of limitations (Fla. Stat. 95.11(3)(a)) for personal injury cases, the time limit for filing a lawsuit is two years. That means that you have two years from the date of the accident to sue in civil court.

This is where hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you with your case, depending on how much time has passed. They can help you understand how the statute of limitations may affect your lawsuit and also take over the process of filing the right legal documents at the right time.  More often than not, this means that an experienced lawyer will file suit after just one-year because there maybe other parties to sue.

Who Does the Statute of Limitations Apply To?

This limited deadline to file suit applies to a variety of victims who get hurt in accidents: bicyclists, motorcyclists, drivers, pedestrians, and even car passengers. There is also a simultaneous four-year window from the date of the accident that applies to filing damage or total loss claim for your vehicle. For more details, it is best to see an experienced attorney who handles accident cases.

When Is the Best Time To Contact An Experienced Florida Accident Attorney?

A crucial point to remember when it comes to the statute of limitations for your accident injury is that waiting too long could destroy your chance to get compensated. In the interest of preserving your right to sue–and sue with the right legal guidance–you may want to hire an attorney with experience as soon as possible.

If you are confused about how long you have to sue or you’re unsure about how an attorney can help, call Tampa Auto Accident attorney can meet with you for a case review at absolutely no cost. We have years of experience handling injury cases and helping injured victims recover.

Our staff and attorneys are standing ready to help you too. Contact us 24/7 online or by calling our office at 813.755.9500.

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Tampa Auto Accident Injury Lawyer | Martin J Hernandez

If you have been injured in any kind of accident, your personal injury lawyer with the law firm of Martin J. Hernandez will guide you every step of the way. Call or Text us now at 813-755-9500

The Martin J. Hernandez Firm’s lawyers handle personal injury cases throughout the entire Tampa, Temple Terrace, South Tampa & West Tampa area. Areas we service include Carrollwood, Northdale, Town ‘n’ Country, Brandon, Plant City, Seffner, Dover, Valrico, Riverview, West Tampa, West Chase, Hyde Park, Culbreath, West Shore, Palma Ceia, Gulfview, 33635, 33615, 33634, 33626, 33625, 33508, 33509, 33510, 33511,33568, 33569, 33578, 33579 & all of Hillsborough County and the state of Florida.


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