If you have been involved in a car accident in Florida, it is important that you understand the statute of limitations for how long you can file a lawsuit after the incident. The Florida statutes state that you have 4 years, starting on the date of the accident, to file a lawsuit. After you have passed this date, any motion to file will be thrown out by the Florida courts. In addition to the legal limitations you will encounter if you try to seek damages for a car accident after too long, there are procedural issues that will cause problems as well – some of which can complicate a case to the point that you have major issues collecting the amount you are rightfully owed.
If you have been in a car accident, it is important that you begin speaking with Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys as soon as possible, even if you do not know the full extent of the financial impact your injuries will have. Read more about the statute of limitations, proper filing times for personal injury lawsuits, and more below.
When Should I File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
There is no set answer to when you should file your lawsuit, but you should certainly speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You will likely be approached by multiple attorneys after your accident, but make sure you do not simply go with the first lawyer you speak with. Instead, make sure you are confident and comfortable with the attorney, their approach, and then commit to working with them.
Your attorney will be able to advise you on the appropriate timeline for filing your lawsuit, and will likely have a series of things that you will need to do beforehand in order to ensure that your case is as strong as possible.
If you believe that your injuries may progress, or are worried that your medical bills and lost wages will continue to mount – this is no reason to wait. Your attorney will understand the implications of the future possibilities, and will factor this into the case they put together for you.
When Is Too Late To File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
Although there is a statute of limitations that legally bars you from filing a lawsuit after four years, you should start the process as soon as possible. There are a few reasons for this:
The insurance company will argue that it is impossible to determine where your injuries came from if you are filing months or years after the accident.
If you have suffered a back or neck injury in a car accident, but go for a year or two with it before seeking damages, the insurance company can make the argument that it is impossible to determine how much of the injury is related to the accident.
You Will Forget Key Details About The Incident
The sooner after the accident you begin working with an attorney, the more clear the accident will be in your mind. As time goes by, and the accident fades in your memory more, it will be harder to present an accurate picture to your attorney, and therefore to a court.
Do Not Wait To Seek Damages
Although you are given ample time under the Florida Statutes, make sure that you start the process as quickly as possible. There are many downsides to waiting, and the upsides to starting early are much more significant. The sooner you start, the sooner you can move on with your life.