HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO FILE A LAWSUIT FOR INJURIES IN FLORIDA?
As of March 24, 2023, in Florida most injury victims have two (2) years to file a lawsuit if a lawsuit for their injuries. Failure to file within this time may result in the claim being completely barred.
WHY DID THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN FLORIDA CHANGE?
On March 24, 2023, Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, signed into law HB 837. Upon signing, the law became effective. The law affected various statutes, including Florida Statute Section 95.11. Florida Statute Section 95.11 outlines the statute of limitations for various causes of actions. Statutes of Limitations are legislatively set timelines for when a lawsuit must be brought. If a lawsuit is not timely filed during the prescribed timeframe, the lawsuit is generally barred from being brought at all.
Previously, Florida Statute Section 95.11 required lawsuits for actions founded on negligence to be filed within four (4) years of the injurious event. Most injury actions are founded on the negligent acts and/or omissions of others. As such, most injury actions are subject to the statute of limitations related to the filing of negligence claims.
With the signing of HB 837, Florida’s statute of limitations for actions arising out of negligent acts was limited to two (2) years. This is half of the previously allowed four (4) years to bring a lawsuit. As such, most injury cases occurring on or after March 24, 2023 must be filed within two years. Failure to timely file a lawsuit may result in the claim being barred forever.
HOW DOES THE CHANGE IN FLORIDA’S STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AFFECT INJURY VICTIMS?
Florida is likely to see an increase in litigation over time. The increase in litigation will be due to the shortened timeframe in which to bring a claim. By shortening the time in which to bring a claim, injury victims will now have to move forward with filing lawsuits quicker than previously allowed. This will also likely result in less claims being resolved without lawsuits and more lawsuits filed before an injury victim has completed their course of medical treatment.
Following an accident or incident, injury victims may need significant care, or even surgery, to feel better. Most injury victims attempt to avoid surgery by first attempting to address their injury in non-evasive means, such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, or massage. Should non-evasive means fail to resolve ongoing pain complaints, more invasive means may be required to address the ongoing injury. Invasive care can vary from injections to surgery. Many injury victims attempt to avoid surgery. Surgery is not guaranteed to bring relief and poses various health risks – such as possible permanent nerve damage, paralysis, or even death.
Due to the high risks associated with surgery, injury victims will exhaust lesser invasive means first. Oftentimes, even after lesser invasive means have been exhausted, injury victims will live with the pain unless, or until, it becomes unmanageable.
However, even an injury victim who requires, and is willing to undergo surgery, the treatment process is not a quick one. These injury victims may still exhausted conservative treatment before surgery. Additionally, the post-surgical care victims receive may require several months monitoring before final restorative results are known.
In either of these instances, injury victims can often treat well beyond two years. Under the old statute, Florida injury victims had four years to being a lawsuit. This allowed for plenty of time for an injury victim to complete their medical care and to attempt resolution of their claim without having to file a lawsuit. With the time to file a lawsuit now cut in half, many injury victims will find themselves required to file a lawsuit before their treatment is even complete.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WAS INJURED IN FLORIDA?
Injury victims in Florida should be aware of the state’s new statute of limitations. It is more important than ever to speak with a seasoned injury attorney as soon as you can. Justin H. Presser, Esquire is a seasoned injury attorney. As an attorney practicing for over fifteen (15) years in the fields of personal injury, car accidents, and wrongful death, Mr. Presser has developed the knowledge to assist his clients and maximize their recovery.
If you have been injured in Florida, call today for your free consultation and see how we can assist with your claim and develop a strategy that maximizes your recovery.
If you have been injured in Florida on or after March 24, 2023, it is highly likely your claim is subject to the shorted statute of limitations period. It is imperative you speak with an injury attorney immediately to determine whether your claim falls under this shorted limitations period and to construct an appropriate case strategy moving forward.