Have you suffered injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness? You may be eligible to collect financial compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. Knowing if you should make a claim, or when the right time to do so is, can be a challenge. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may need to file your personal injury claim as soon as possible following your injuries.
How Soon After Your Injuries Can You File a Claim?
Many people who suffer injuries in accidents caused by another person believe that they have to finish medical treatment to file a claim. However, you should file your claim as soon as possible following your accident – even if you are still receiving treatment. You want to file your claim before your statute of limitations runs out and you lose your chance of receiving a settlement altogether.
For insurance claims, the company will likely require you to file your report as soon as possible following your accident. An adjuster may approach you while you are still in the hospital to begin this process, or even have you sign off on a settlement. Do not sign any agreements or speak to an adjuster until you speak to a personal injury attorney. Since it is not in the best interest of the insurance company to offer you a maximum settlement, you may not be receiving a fair offer.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
One consideration that you will need to take into account is when you reach maximum medical improvement. Before you decide to accept a settlement offer from an adjuster or from the at-fault party in your lawsuit, you want to reach maximum medical improvement. This term refers to the healthiest you could be following your injuries – you healed as much as you could from your injuries sustained in the accident. You may have to deal with disabilities and impairments after your accident that may never heal.
The purpose of waiting for maximum medical improvement is so that you and your attorney can accurately calculate the damages you should request in your claim. You will have an accurate total for your past medical expenses sustained in the accident, and you can calculate the amount you will need for future medical care. In addition, reaching maximum medical improvement will help you determine if you will suffer any ongoing financial damage because of your injuries, such as an inability to work.
Florida Personal Injury Statutes of Limitations
If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida civil court, you will need to abide by the statute of limitations. This statute provides a time frame in which you can file your claim for the court to hear it – if you wait until after the statute of limitations passes, the court will likely not hear your case. In the state of Florida, the personal injury statute of limitations is longer than in many states.
Under Florida state law, you have four years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. In some cases, you may not know that you suffered an injury on the date of your accident – in these situations, you may have a longer period of time to file. If you suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, you have two years since discovering your injury to file a lawsuit, not to exceed four years from the date of the malpractice.
Since the court will not hear your case if you wait too long to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is important that you begin the process as soon as possible. Speak to a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options and to file your lawsuit within your applicable statute of limitations.