In Florida, the statute of limitations depends on whether you suffered harm or lost a loved one. Consider the following:
- If you were hurt due to negligence, you generally have four years to file your injury lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). Your filing period begins from the date you suffered harm or discovered your condition.
- If you lost a loved one to negligence, you typically have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). The four-year deadline begins from the date of your loved one’s passing.
Some Exceptions Could Extend Your Filing Deadline
In many cases, the statute of limitations is a firm deadline. However, every situation is different, and some may qualify for extensions. Florida Statutes § 95.051 notes that some exceptions that could extend your filing deadline include:
- The at-fault driver concealed their identity.
- The negligent party fled the state.
- You suffered harm as someone under the age of 18.
- A physical or cognitive disability prevented you from filing your case.
What Happens If the Statute of Limitations Expires on Your Case?
Once the statute of limitations expires, the court will likely dismiss your case with prejudice. This means you cannot pursue compensation through the court system. This is why it’s essential to understand the statute of limitations and how it applies to your case.
If you lose the right to seek damages through the court system, you might not have any options for recovering what you need.
You Can Pursue These Damages If You File Within the Applicable Deadline
If you file your case within the applicable deadline, you can recover these damages:
- Healthcare expenses, including past and future medical bills
- Lost wages, tips, bonuses, and other employment-related benefits
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Disability and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Funeral expenses
- Property damage costs
Sometimes, the court awards something called “punitive damages.” Punitive damages punish the at-fault driver for their negligence. When you partner with a lawyer, they can explain whether punitive damages are available in your case and pursue them accordingly.
What Steps Should You Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Filing your case within the statute of limitations is just one way to protect your right to damages. Other considerations that could resolve your case include:
Seeking Medical Attention
After getting into a hit-and-run accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical care. This promotes your recovery period and provides you with medical documentation of your injuries. Medical documentation links your injuries to the collision. It also helps your lawyer determine what you deserve for your healthcare expenses.
Reporting Your Accident
If the police came to the accident scene, they likely filled out an accident report. This document details important things about your collision, including its time, date, and location.
However, if the police did not come to the accident scene, you have to file the police report yourself. You can learn more about this by visiting the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You must file an accident report if anyone was hurt, killed, or property damage went beyond a certain amount. Please report your collision as soon as possible.
Notifying Your Insurance Company
Even if you’re considering legal action, you should tell your insurance company about the collision as soon as possible. That way, it can start processing your claim, and you can avoid any unnecessary complications.
What Potential Injuries Can You Suffer from a Hit-and-Run Accident?
In general, the types of injuries you suffer do not toll the statute of limitations. Yet, if you didn’t discover your injuries until days or weeks after the accident, this could alter your filing period.
Examples of injuries you may have suffered in the hit-and-run accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments
- Nerve damage
Consider Partnering with a Car Accident Lawyer
When you partner with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer, you don’t have to manage your case’s legal deadlines. They can do that for you. Your lawyer can also:
- Gather evidence to support your right to damages
- Negotiate a settlement
- File your insurance claim/lawsuit
- Review all paperwork for completion and accuracy
- Keep you updated on your case’s progression
- Calculate the cost of your injury-related losses
Our firm works on contingency, so you can get all of these services at no upfront cost.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for Legal Help
If you or a loved one suffered harm in a hit-and-run accident, contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to explore your options. During your free case review, we can discuss the statute of limitations for a hit-and-run in Florida, among other related matters. Call us today at 1-800-747-3733 to begin.
We Can Help.