What Is the Statute of Limitation for Personal Injury in Florida?

Statue of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida.

If you’re injured in an accident in Florida that was caused by someone else, you may lose income from missing work and have unpaid medical bills. You may have a right to seek the money needed to pay your bills by filing a personal injury claim. Bringing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company can help you secure the compensation needed to cover your losses associated with the accident, such as your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

But only a limited amount of time is allowed in Florida to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. You need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to review your options and start work on your case. Otherwise, you may miss your opportunity to seek compensation.

The personal injury lawyers at Zervos & Calta, PLLC, have more than 45 years of combined legal experience helping residents of Tampa Bay recover from serious accidents. We’ve won millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. You won’t owe us any legal fees unless we collect compensation for you. To schedule your free initial consultation, call (727) 937-3171 or visit our contact page.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Florida?

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to car insurance. Regardless of who caused the crash, drivers will usually need to turn to their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their initial medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses.

Florida requires that accident victims filing a PIP claim seek medical treatment for their injuries within 14 days of the car accident. Your PIP claim will not be accepted if you wait longer than two weeks to seek medical attention.

If an accident victim suffers injuries that are deemed serious under Florida law, such as suffering broken bones, disfigurement, or a permanent injury, then the victim may seek compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to agree to a fair settlement, then you may choose to file a lawsuit in Florida civil court. The only way to compel an uncooperative insurance company to pay is to file a lawsuit. You will need to file the lawsuit within the time allowed by Florida’s statute of limitations.

What Is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for Personal Injury Lawsuits?

The statute of limitations is a time limit established by the state of Florida allowing a certain amount of time after an accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. The reason to set time limits is to make sure these cases are filed while the evidence is still fresh and to prevent potential defendants from being sued for injuries that happened years or decades ago.

Under Florida law, there are deadlines for different kinds of personal injury claims. The general deadline for injury claims based on “an action founded on negligence” is four years from the date of the injury. Some specific kinds of claims have longer or shorter deadlines.

For example, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date you discovered your injuries and four years from the date of the actual malpractice, unless the injuries occurred while you were still a minor under age 8.

The Different Statutes of Limitations for Different Kinds of Florida Personal Injury Suits

The statutes of limitations for some of the cases we handle are as follows:

  • Car accidents Four years from the date of your injury, with an additional year if the other driver does not have insurance. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
  • Truck accidents Four years from the date of your injury. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
  • Motorcycle accidents – Four years from the date of your injury, with an additional year if the driver who hit you does not have insurance. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
  • Bicycle accidents – Four years from the date of your injury, with an additional year if the party who caused the accident does not have insurance. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
  • Slip-and-fall accidents Four years from the date of your injury. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
  • Pedestrian accidents – Four years from the date of your injury, with an additional year if the party who caused the accident does not have insurance. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
  • Medical malpractice – Two years from the date of the discovery of your injury, but no longer than four years from when the injury occurred, with a few exceptions. If a medical provider used fraud or concealment to try to hide the malpractice, you have an additional two years to file a lawsuit, but the lawsuit must still be filed within seven years of when the injury occurred. Different statute of limitations rules apply to minors under the age of eight since injuries to children may take longer to identify.
  • Spinal injuries – Four years from the date of your injury, with an additional year if the party who caused the accident does not have insurance. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death. If the accident resulted from medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years from the discovery of the injury.
  • Traumatic brain injuries – Four years from the date of your injury, with an additional year if the party who caused the accident does not have insurance. If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, the statute of limitations is two years.
  • Wrongful death Two years from the date of death.

Should I File a Claim Early in FL Even if I Have Plenty of Time Left With the Statute of Limitations?

It’s a good idea to speak to a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you’re considering filing a personal injury claim. There’s a lot of time-consuming investigation and gathering of evidence that has to occur before you can file an injury claim or lawsuit. You don’t want to risk missing the deadline and losing your right to seek compensation. Getting started on your claim soon after an injury makes it easier to find and preserve vital evidence that you will need to prove your case.

Our attorneys at Zervos & Calta, PLLC, are ready to help you seek the full compensation available by law for your injuries. To learn more about your legal options, call (727) 937-3171 or visit our contact page.

About the Author

Angela Zervos
Angela has spent more than 20 years of her legal career fighting for personal injury victims – and against big insurance companies. As a true trial lawyer, she takes on a wide variety of personal injury claims, including those involving motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death. Prior to starting her own law practice, Angela secured more than $80 million in settlements and jury verdicts for her clients – a 90 percent success rate since 2002. Her efforts on behalf of her clients have resulted in numerous accolades. For example, Angela maintains a “Superb” 10.0 rating from AVVO, an “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and she is ranked among the Top 100 civil trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Zervos & Calta, PLLC serves the entire Tampa Bay area – including Pinellas County, Pasco County, Hernando County, and Hillsborough County – from offices in Tarpon Springs, Spring Hill, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg.