Published: September 1, 2022 | Brian L. Elstein, Esq.

After being hurt in a personal injury accident in Miami, you may be wondering how long you have to file your case. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations, and it is a crucial consideration to keep in mind as you pursue compensation for your injuries. 

When you work with a Miami personal injury attorney from Elstein Legal, we will explain the various time limits that apply in your case. Additionally, we will work quickly to build your case to ensure you do not miss your opportunity to get the compensation you deserve. 

What is a civil statute of limitations? 

A civil statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your injury accident case in the appropriate court. Although most personal injury cases settle outside of court, sometimes this is not possible. In some circumstances, such as cases with questions of liability, or evidentiary or other issues, the two sides cannot reach an agreement. 

When this happens, the next step is pursuing the case in court, and the statute of limitations applies. It is important to remember that while your insurance company likely has applicable time limits to consider during the claims process, this is not the same thing as the statute of limitations, which only applies to lawsuits filed in civil court. 

Florida’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations 

According to Fla. Stat. § 95.11, the statute of limitations for personal injury in Florida is four years. Therefore, in most cases, you would generally have four years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit with the court that has the jurisdiction to hear your case in order to meet the deadline. 

While there may be different limits for specific types of injury cases and extensions in some situations, it is still essential to work quickly to ensure you do not miss your opportunity to recover the compensation you need to recover. 

Different Types of Cases Have Different Limits

While the general personal injury statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident, this deadline does not apply to all types of cases. For example, the general time limit of four years applies to:

However, it does not apply to medical malpractice or wrongful death cases. In both of these case types, the statute of limitations is two years.

Medical malpractice cases also have several other deadline considerations to keep in mind. Regardless of the specific type of injury case you have, the injury attorneys at Elstein Legal can explain how much time you have and develop a personalized plan to help ensure you meet all deadlines. 

Statute of Limitations for Injury Cases Against the Government

There are several deadlines to be aware of if you are pursuing an injury case against the government in Florida. According to Fla. Stat. § 768.28, there are specific notice deadlines, waiting periods, and statute of limitations that apply to negligence cases against state agencies. 

The statute of limitations for injury cases against the state is three years from the date of the injury. However, if you pursue a wrongful death case against the government, the time limit is two years. These deadlines only apply if your initial claim is denied, and they are generally very strict, with few options for extensions. Our personal injury lawyers can help you meet the strict timeline requirements if you need to sue the government for injury or wrongful death. 

What happens if I miss the personal injury statute of limitations? 

If you miss the statute of limitations in your personal injury case, you may not be able to recover any compensation for your injuries and other losses. There have been several notable cases where Florida courts have dismissed a lawsuit, despite strong evidence or legal basis due to statute of limitations grounds. 

A personal injury lawyer from Elstein Legal can help you work quickly on your case to ensure you do not miss the opportunity to recover compensation after your accident. 

Extensions to the Florida Civil Statute of Limitations

Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may be able to toll or pause the statute of limitations. Tolling offers you additional time to file your lawsuit. However, Fla. Stat. § 95.051 only allows for tolling in certain situations, including: 

  • The defendant left Florida before filing the case
  • The defendant used a false name to avoid service
  • The defendant conceals themselves to avoid service 
  • The plaintiff is under the age of 18 
  • The plaintiff is mentally incapacitated
  • The plaintiff did not discover the injury immediately 

Although tolling does offer additional time to file your lawsuit, it is essential not to rely on the possibility of an extension to the deadline. In most cases, the maximum time limit to file a case, even with a tolling exception, is four to seven years from the date of the injury, depending on the facts of your case. 

Additionally, the rules for tolling the statute of limitations can be complex to navigate. Therefore, it is vital to start work on your case as soon as possible. 

Our Miami Injury Attorneys Can Help You Meet the Statute of Limitations

At Elstein Legal, we take the time to explain the various Florida laws and how they apply to your specific case, including statute of limitations considerations. We then work with you to develop a personalized approach to help you meet all deadlines and get the compensation you need to recover. 

We’ll work hard to ensure you do not miss the opportunity to recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at (305) 299-2835 or contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help. 

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