How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Fort Lauderdale?
In the state of Florida, personal injury claims carry a statute of limitations of four years. This means that you have no more than four years from the date of or discovery of your injuries in order to file a personal injury claim. In the case of medical malpractice, you have two years from the date of or discovery of your injuries in order to file a claim, however your action cannot take place more than for years after the actual date of the injury.
What is the Discovery Rule?
Sometimes, a person can be injured and not know it. Some injuries may not present themselves for weeks, months or even years, generally due to medical malpractice. In this case, there is a rule that states you can file a personal injury claim in which the statute of limitations begins upon the discovery of your injuries, rather than from the date that the injuries occurred. The discover rule applies to when a person discovers injuries or should have discovered the injuries.
For example, if you underwent surgery and your surgeon made a mistake, but immediately owned up to it, the statute of limitations would begin when your doctor admitted to the mistake. However, imagine that you underwent surgery and the surgeon made a mistake, but didn’t admit to it. After your procedure, you experience daily pain and you tell another doctor, who tells you to come in for a check-up. Your statute of limitations clock will likely start running at the point where the doctor advised you to seek medical attention, whether you heed the advice or not. Finally, imagine that after a surgical procedure where a doctor made a mistake, you experience no side effects and do not know for a year that you were injured until you have another procedure. In this case, the statute of limitations will begin when your injury is discovered during the new procedure.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Navigating the Florida statute of limitations in regards to personal injury claims can be complicated. In order to ensure that your claim is filed on time and that your rights are protected, it is important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident or following the discovery of your injuries. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney from Wolf & Pravato can give invaluable legal advice regarding your injury claim and the amount of time with which you have to seek damages.