How long after an accident can I sue?
The state of Florida does place certain restrictions on people in terms of when and how they can file a suit, specifically time restrictions. Many people don’t realize that a statute of limitations is in place that prohibits them from filing a lawsuit too far after the fact— evidence may get lost or degrade, memories of witnesses may grow hazy, and the facts generally become too obscured for the truth to reasonably come out. Some major crimes, like murder and any felony which results in death, have no statute of limitations, which allows law enforcement to pursue them as “cold cases”. However, suits filed by individuals rather than the state are regulated much differently. The ordinary automobile accident case, which is by and large considered to be negligence, is going to be a four-year statute of limitations. For other things, like professional or medical malpractice, it could be as short as two years, just as it is in the case of wrongful death. We recommend that anyone considering pursuing a suit study up on the relevant legal limitations, consult an attorney, and act before time takes the choice away from them. The best thing anyone debating whether to sue or not is to get an expert opinion on the matter and make an informed choice.
But that said, jumping unprepared into a lawsuit, simply out of fear that the clock may run out on the statute of limitations, can be dangerous for the case and for the client. So perhaps the question a client should ask themselves is not, “How long do I have to sue,” but rather, “When is the right time to initiate a suit? What do we need to initiate a suit at all?” If you have built your case up, if the treatment is appropriate and it's done, you’re ready to initiate serious proceedings. Here in this office, we pride ourselves on trying to get the right results as fast as possible, but not rushing. Rushing into a lawsuit often results in entanglement in litigation and red tape. It also tends to cost more, due to the demand on the attorney and the length of time it extends. There are other ways, like arbitration and negotiation, for a client to find satisfaction without having all the fuss of a full trial. If we can accomplish those results without subjecting our client to the risks of litigation and increased cost, we will do that. But that hardly means we’ll back down from standing up for our clients. By the same token, if we can't get those results without the litigation and increased cost, we file suit and so should the injured person. We believe in getting the kinds of results that satisfy our clients and fairly compensate people who have been harmed by either the negligent or intentional actions of others. If an accident has impacted your life but you fear that it might be too late to get a fair settlement, contact us. We will thoroughly examine every option and ensure that you receive the best help possible.