Florida car accidents have a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. Victims of a car accident in Florida have four years in most cases to file a personal injury claim. While this amount of time can vary according to certain conditions, it is advisable for everyone who suffers injury from an accident to consult a Florida personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
The Difference Between an Insurance Claim and a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a claim with an insurance company is not the same thing as filing a lawsuit for damages. You may file a claim with an insurance company for your injuries only to find that the insurance coverage does not pay for all of your expenses. In order to be sure that you recover all the damages possible for your personal injury, it is important for you to speak to a personal injury attorney and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to protect your rights. Proving negligence in a car accident claim is required to receive compensation and an auto accident attorney in Orlando can help with that.
Victims sometimes misunderstand the difference between an insurance claim and a personal injury claim. It is quite possible for a victim to file a claim with an insurance company but still seek damages through a personal injury case. If an insurance company pays your medical bills, for example, that does not mean that you may not recover damages for pain and suffering, property damage and other costs associated with your accident. However, if you collect money from the insurance company and then settle your personal injury claim at a later time, the insurance company may insist on subtracting the amount already paid as a result of your insurance claim from the final settlement amount.
Beating the Statute of Limitations
It is extremely important that you file your lawsuit within the time limit established by law. See our article on the steps to filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident for more information. Injuries caused by Florida car accidents may be the subject of a lawsuit for up to four years after the date of the injury, in most cases. This means that once the four-year time period has passed, you may be barred from filing any claims against the person who caused your injury.
Lawsuits must also be filed in the right venue or location. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the lawsuit may be filed in the defendant’s county of residence or the victim’s or in some other location altogether.
It is very important that you begin to act early to put in motion the process of filing a lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney may have to trace the locations of certain defendants, retain an accident reconstruction expert, take depositions of interested parties and prepare a case for trial. This should be done as soon after the accident as possible, as it becomes more difficult with time to find witnesses, reconstruct events of an accident or locate important information. Further, a personal injury attorney must prepare the case for filing, and this may take some time. If you have a strong claim, it is likely that the case will never go to trial. If, on the other hand, your case is complicated or there is less likelihood of a good verdict, you may find yourself preparing for a long legal battle.
Protecting Your Rights
When you are involved in a car accident in Florida, it is very important that you protect your rights by speaking with a personal injury attorney about your case. A personal injury lawyer will advise you on how to file a lawsuit against the person or people responsible for your injuries and the best strategy for recovering the maximum amount possible in compensation. You should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident to be sure that your rights are fully protected.
At David & Philpot, P.L. we specialize in helping victims of car accidents in Florida receive the maximum amount of compensation they are entitled to. We’d love the privilege of helping you. Fill out our free case evaluation form and we will get right back with you to discuss your case.