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Florida Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in Florida is four (4) years (Ref: Fla. Stat. § 95.11). 

What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within two years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within two years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration, or trial. 

Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the Florida Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to a Florida personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in Florida

There are some variations & exceptions to the 2 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Florida. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 

  • The injured person had been legally deemed "incapacitated" (i.e. was subject to a temporary or permanent mental illness) at the time of the underlying accident (but note that no more than seven years may pass between the date of the accident and the filing of the lawsuit, so an extension under this exception is not open-ended). 
  • The person who allegedly caused the injury (the defendant) left the state of Florida at some point after the underlying accident, and before the lawsuit could be filed, and 
  • The defendant took steps to conceal him/herself in Florida, or changed his or her name or identity, in order to prevent "process" (the lawsuit and summons) from being served.

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the Florida statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since it would immediately be dismissed). 

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