Florida Tort Claims and Applicable Statute of Limitations
Albeit with few exceptions, typical tort claims in Florida are subject to a four-year statute of limitations, meaning that the victim has four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Though it is critical to consult an experienced personal injury attorney such as the attorneys at Rue & Ziffra, P.A., as soon as possible in the wake of an injury-related accident, there are occasions where timeliness is even more essential to a successful claim.
For example, Florida adheres to a shortened two-year limitations period for wrongful death claims, which are claims brought to recover damages for the death of a loved one at the hands of another person or entity’s intentional or negligent misconduct. Therefore, if you believe you and your family may have a claim for wrongful death, it is vital to speak with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible such that the potential claim can be evaluated and the appropriate action taken within the time period provided by Florida law.
However, as previously noted, Florida tort victims generally are given four years to file a lawsuit for damages sustained as a result of another party’s wrongdoing. Such claims include automobile and motorcycle negligence, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, dog bites and premises liability claims. In the case of automobile accident cases, however, it is important to know that claims based on provisions of an insured’s underinsured or uninsured auto policy are governed by a longer five-year limitations period. The rationale for this extended period is because UM claims, as they are commonly known and referred to, are likened to contract based claims which are subject to a five-year limitation from the time of the contractual breach. An individual may have a viable UM claim and is therefore entitled to a recovery when that individual’s own insurance company fails or refuses to fairly compensate its insured when that insured is the victim of the negligence of a driver that either did not have insurance or did not have an adequate amount of coverage. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage applies to additional scenarios as well. Call (386) 788-7700 to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can help guide you through the provisions of your automobile policy.
While it is most important to know how long you have to bring a claim for injuries in Florida, it is perhaps more important to consult and hire an advocate who knows the intricacies of injury claims and the ever-changing laws that govern Florida tort claims. At the Volusia County based personal injury law firm of Rue & Ziffra, the talented attorneys and committed staff members have been assisting injury victims for over twenty-five years. Contact Rue & Ziffra today to receive the professional representation and dedicated advocacy that may be missing from your case.