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How Long to I Have to Bring a Personal Injury Claim?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is outlined in Florida Statutes section 95.11. Up until recently, this statute provided that a person must file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim within four years from the date of the accident or injury.  Florida’s Governor signed House Bill 837 into law March 24, 2023, which reduced the time to file a lawsuit based on negligence to two years, except for active-duty military.  This applies to actions accruing after March 24, 2023.

Negligence Cases – 2 years after March 24, 2023

This means that if you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall, or other type of personal injury incident in Florida before March 24, 2023, you generally have four years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. However, if you were injured after March 24, 2023, you generally have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit.  If you do not file a lawsuit within these time periods, your claim(s) will be barred by the statute of limitations, and you will not be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

Medical Malpractice

As mentioned earlier, there are some exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations in Florida. For example, medical malpractice claims have a shorter statute of limitations.  Generally, you must file a lawsuit within of two years from the date of the actual medical malpractice, but no longer than 4 years from the date you knew or should have known you were a victim of malpractice, and no later than seven years if you can prove fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation by a prospective defendant health care provider.  When you “knew or should have known” you were the victim of malpractice is hotly contested because that starts the time limit running. Defense attorneys may claim you should have known earlier; therefor, you took too long to file your lawsuit.  There are additional exceptions as in cases brought on behalf of children on or before their eighth birthday.

Notice Requirements Serve to Shorten the Statute of Limitations

In addition, claims against government entities in Florida may have a shorter statute of limitations due to notice requirements must be met before filing a lawsuit. This means that if you are injured as a result of the negligence of a government entity or employee in Florida, you may have a shorter time period within which to file a claim.  If you are involved in a car accident with a police cruiser, the police department is a governmental entity in Jacksonville and you must follow specific notice requirements.  The same is true if you slip in a governmental building or if you child is injured at a local public school.  Failure to follow the requirements of what information is contained in the notice, who the notice is directed to, and when the notice needs to be sent can adversely affect your ability to make an injury claim.

It is important to consult with a qualified Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney if you have been injured in an accident.  Consider contacting one of our attorneys at Rosenberg & Calvin, P.A. who can review the specific facts of your case and advise you on the applicable statute of limitations and other legal requirements that may impact your claim.

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