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I was talking to one of my clients the other day and she was involved in an automobile accident case in Florida. During the conversation, she said to me, “You know, how long do I have to settle my case or to file a lawsuit on my case?” And I said, “Oh, you’re asking me about: what is the statute of limitations in Florida for an automobile accident case?” And first, let me explain what a statute of limitations is. It’s essentially the maximum period of time that you have to either settle your case or to file a lawsuit against all defendants or you’re never gonna get any money in your case if you don’t do it within that timeframe.
The purpose for a statute of limitations actually is to give the defendant in the case some kind of peace of mind to be allowed to defend the case before the case gets stale and all the evidence is gone. And also to move trials in a more, a fast matter. So, under Florida law, if you’re involved in an automobile accident case, you have four years from the date of the accident to either settle your case or file suit against all possible defendants or you’re not gonna collect money damages at all and your case will be over.
The only exception to that rule in automobile accident cases in Florida is if you’re making a claim against your own insurance company. For example, let’s say that the driver that hit you had no insurance, and so you’re gonna be settling your case with your own insurance company through your uninsured motorist coverage. That is more a breach of contract situation, and so under Florida law, the statute of limitations in your case against your own insurance company would be five years instead of the standard four years if you were gonna be making a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
So, if you have any questions at all, please call me. And please, don’t wait. When the accident happens, call us right away.
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