How The Passage Of Time Affects A Personal Injury Claim
One of the key reasons it is important to act as soon as possible with regards to seeking compensation when you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence is the time limit the law imposes on such claims. Under Florida law for example, an injured person generally has between two and four years to file a personal injury claim depending on the type of injury sustained. These time periods are usually calculated from the time injury occurs or is discovered. However, there are additional ways in which a person’s case can be affected by time limits.
The Statute Of Repose
One such way is the statute of repose. The statute of repose is a legal doctrine which, similar to a statute of limitations, limits an injured person’s ability to bring a lawsuit. However, a statute of repose is more stringent in its application than a statute of limitation. A statute of repose begins to run at a time set by statute regardless of when the injured party gets injured or discovers his injuries. For example, in medical malpractice cases against a medical practitioner, the statute of limitations holds that a claim cannot be brought against the medical practitioner later than two years from the date of the injury, discovery of the injury, or when injury should have been discovered through due diligence. The statute of repose on the other hand states that a claim cannot be brought later than four years after the conduct or occurrence that creates the injury, although there is an exception for a minor younger than eight years old. It is therefore conceivable that in some cases, the statute of repose may limit a case even where the statute of limitations would allow the claim. A defendant’s fraudulent concealment of its negligence can affect both statutes of limitations and repose.
Tolling The Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations can also be affected by tolling. The law recognizes that not all injured parties are able to bring claims for compensation as a result of their injuries for various legitimate reasons. In some cases, the statute of limitations may be tolled or stopped for an injured person who is considered to have a legal disability, and therefore, is incapable of bringing a claim. In this context, a person may be considered to have a disability if she is a minor at the time of injury, is incarcerated, in a comma, or otherwise unable to exercise their right to seek compensation. Tolling a statute of limitations may result in a person having additional time to bring a claim even when the time would have run out for a person without a disability.
The interaction of all the rules that affect the time within which a claim should be filed can become complicated, and it is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an injury occurs or is discovered.
Contact A Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered an injury as a result of another person’s negligence or in a car accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney handling your case. You have limited time to seek compensation under Florida law; contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney at Boone and Davis for a free consultation today.