Although the deadline for taking legal action in Fort Lauderdale mainly depends on the facts of your case, Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a) generally gives you four years from the date of your truck accident to file a personal injury suit. According to the statute, the same time limit applies if you want to sue for your vehicle’s damage or loss.
However, if you lost your family member in the accident and wish to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, the statute of limitations is two years, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). Filing a claim against a government entity also has a shorter deadline, leaving you with only three years to act.
Not knowing how long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident can put you at a disadvantage if you plan to sue. If you miss the deadline that applies to your case, you likely will not be able to take legal action for your accident. Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to learn more about circumstances that could influence how long you have to sue for negligence.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 747-3733
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents
While the statute of limitations broadly sets the deadline for filing your lawsuit, there are special cases where the court may extend or toll the legal deadline. Florida Statutes §95.051 outlines particular situations where exceptions apply.
The time limit may be tolled or suspended if:
- The defendant has left the state.
- The defendant has hidden their identity or used a false name.
- The plaintiff is mentally incapacitated or is a minor at the time of the accident.
- The defendant cannot be legally served because they are concealed in the state.
Keep in mind that circumstances not included in the statute may not justify the use of tolling provisions. However, you may have additional time to file your lawsuit if you did not or could not have discovered your injuries until some period later. Otherwise known as the discovery rule, this gives plaintiffs sufficient time to find out about delayed injuries.
Despite knowing about the previous information, determining whether an exception applies to you can be tricky. You could talk to a local personal injury attorney to learn more about tolling limitations.
How Filing a Truck Accident Claim Is Different from Filing a Lawsuit
As soon as you file your injury claim against the at-fault party, you begin the process of seeking damages. Nevertheless, it is not the same as filing an actual lawsuit. In other words, the clock will begin ticking even if you have not initiated legal action. Those who are not aware of the statute of limitations for filing an injury suit may find they cannot obtain compensation beyond the deadline.
In Fort Lauderdale, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is the primary means through which you can seek to recover your injuries and losses. If your damages exceed your policy’s limits, you may proceed with litigation for additional compensation.
Keep in mind that the statute of limitations may have already started running as you are busy handling your insurance claim. You must leave yourself enough time to gather evidence and prepare your case against the other party before the legal deadline in case you file a lawsuit later.
Start as Soon as Possible on Your Truck Accident Case
If you are wondering how long you have to file a lawsuit after a truck accident, a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can answer this question and more. Be sure to protect your rights to seek compensation from negligent parties. Contact us today by calling 1-800-747-3733 and scheduling a free consultation.