As a personal injury lawyer in North Port, FL, I am often asked about the time limits within which a claim may be brought for injuries suffered in an automobile accident. Please understand that there are always exceptions, and it is imperative that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident in order to learn your specific rights because many cases are unique.
Generally, under Florida law, if you are injured in an auto or motorcycle accident or as the result of someone’s negligence, you have four (4) years to resolve your claim or file a lawsuit. If you cannot obtain a settlement within that time period and fail to file a lawsuit prior to the four year anniversary of the accident, then your claim will be forever barred by the “statute of limitations.” As stated previously, exceptions may apply to lessen the time you have. For instance, if you are injured by a government employee, you must take certain actions to notify and provide proper notice of the claim to the responsible agency or office much sooner.
Occasionally, the law provides for a little more time. An example where you may have longer than four years to resolve a claim involves claims being made against your own insurance company. If you must bring a claim under your own “uninsured or underinsured motorist policy,” you generally have five years from the date of the accident to do so.
In order to determine the specific time limits that apply to your own potential claim, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer and discuss all of the facts.