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To start with, Florida limits the amount of time allowing you to pursue compensation with its statute of limitations. So, if a negligent party injures you or a loved one in an auto accident you need to protect your rights. Particularly, you need to know which statute of limitations applies to your case.

In all honesty, this will allow you to take the correct steps in recovering damages. Hence, you will need an auto accident attorney. Because a Tampa auto accident attorney understands the laws. And, they can prepare your claim in a timely manner, so you don’t get burned by the statute of limitations.

Defining Statutes of Limitations

Thus, Cornell Law School defines statutes of limitations as any law that prohibits claims after a given time limit. In addition, these limitations vary from state to state. As well as, they exist in both civil actions and criminal offenses. In fact, Florida has statutes of limitations for several different laws.

So that, statutes of limitations protect the legal rights of all parties. As a matter of fact, in auto accident cases it helps to preserve evidence and witness testimony. Because over time the quality of evidence and witness testimonies deteriorate. With this in mind, it is important to have a car accident lawyer review your case as soon as possible.

Florida Auto Accident Deadlines

Typically, Florida gives you four years to file a civil lawsuit when injured in an auto accident. But, Florida is a no-fault state. So, many victims of car crashes are not able to file a case after the accident. Or, they need to file a claim with their insurance. Thus, only giving them 14-days to preserve benefits after the accident.

Yet, there are situations that allow the victim to file a lawsuit after the accident. Although, these situations require the accident victim to be seriously injured. For example, they include:

  • Permanent injuries
  • Significant scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of a bodily function permanently

Auto, Truck & Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations

About, the statute of limitations of car, motorcycle, and trucking accident victims.  Consequently, have 4-years from the day of the accident to file a suit. Additionally, if you wait for 4-years to file a court will refuse to hear your case. Unless your case has circumstances that justify them granting an exception.

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

As for, the statute of limitations for wrongful death the surviving members of the family only have 2-years to file a lawsuit. In fact, this time limit applies to all forms of accidental deaths. Including, deaths from fatal automobile, motorcycle, and trucking accidents. So, you lose a loved one due to a negligent driver talk to an attorney who understands Florida’s wrongful death laws.

Auto Accident Statutes of Limitation Extensions

Despite, Florida law having deadlines for filing a lawsuit after an accident there are exceptions. For example, here are the most common exceptions the court makes for extending the statute of limitations:

  • Defendant Availability in a Claim – Considering, when you file a lawsuit they serve the negligent party papers. So, if they leave the state the court will pause the time limit until they return to the state. Likewise, if the negligent party goes into hiding.
  • False Identity of Negligent Driver – Also, if the negligent party gives a false identity the court will extend the limitations. So that, they can find the person.
  • Catastrophic Injuries – Actually, Florida law will allow the victim 7-years from the date of the accident. But, only if they suffer catastrophic injuries that prevent them from filing.
  • Delayed Discovery – Incidentally, injuries can take days or weeks to show up. So, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until they identify the injuries. For example, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms take weeks or months to show.
  • Injured Dependents – For instance, minors will need a guardian or caregiver to file a personal injury lawsuit for them. As well as, a mentally challenged individual. In fact, the court will sometimes extend the statute of limitations until the minor turns 18. Similarly, the court will extend the limitations for mentally challenged individuals. Particularly, until someone can file a lawsuit for them.


In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.