All personal injury cases have a statute of limitations, including brain injury cases. Knowing the statute of limitations for a brain injury case is crucial for getting compensation. These statutes limit the time to bring a case to trial.
If you go beyond the statute, the court will refuse to hear your case. The simplest way to avoid violating the statute is to work with a lawyer as soon as you can after your accident, but it’s good to know what the deadlines are.
The Statute of Limitations for Brain Injury Cases
Brain injury falls under the broader category of personal injury. Personal injury claims have different deadlines depending on the situation surrounding them. Here are the most common scenarios for Florida’s statute of limitations laws.
The General Deadline
In Florida, the usual deadline to file your case is four years after it happened. Under most circumstances, this is what will apply to your brain injury case. However, you’ll want to read below for exceptions that could change things.
If your loved one died from a brain injury and you want to file a wrongful death claim, you have two years to do so. Starting these cases quickly can make a significant difference in the amount of compensation you can receive.
Florida has a no-fault auto accident insurance system. Your insurance has its own deadline for filing a claim. You usually have two weeks from the accident to make the claim, barring significant injury that prevents you from making one.
This isn’t technically a statute of limitations, but it’s an important deadline in Florida.
If your case qualifies to allow you to sue another driver, you have four years to make your claim. However, if the other driver is uninsured, then the time frame may extend to five years.
This is the trickiest category because it involves several interlocking rules. Florida has two deadlines for medical malpractice:
- A two-year deadline for the statute of limitations, which starts when you discover the injury, or when the court decides you should have known you were injured.
- A four-year deadline for the statute of repose, which sets a maximum time limit to bring the case forward of four years, regardless of the date of discovery.
However, these deadlines can get extended under two exceptions. The first is if the defendant commits fraud, misrepresentation, or conceals evidence of malpractice. If so, then you have seven years to make your claim under the statute of repose. However, they can still bar you from making a claim if you violate the statute of limitations!
The other exception is children. The statute of repose cannot take effect before a child’s eighth birthday. Yet a parent must file a claim within the statute of limitations after they discover the injury to make their claim.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can cause brain injuries. The claims for nursing home abuse are like the ones for medical malpractice, but the child exception does not apply and the statute of repose is only lengthened to six years for fraud cases.
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Why Does the Statute of Limitations Exist?
If someone waits too long to sue, they could lose precious evidence for both parties. It can make it almost impossible to judge a case fairly. Federal laws allow states to set their own “reasonable” time limits.
Another reason is that it’s part of your right to a speedy trial. A plaintiff cannot hold on to evidence of wrongdoing for years and then suddenly spring it on a defendant after they’ve long forgotten the details. If you have a claim, you need to speak up promptly!
Work with a Brain Injury Lawyer Now to Keep Your Claim Alive
You need to work with a lawyer as soon as you believe you or your loved one has suffered a brain injury. A lawyer can file the paperwork with the court to stop the clock on the statute of limitations while working on your case.
The sooner you start, the more time your lawyer has to build a strong case for compensation. Viles and Beckman, LLC, has helped victims with brain injury cases for over 40 years. Learn how we can help you with one phone call. Contact us for a free consultation and stop your case from violating the statute of limitations.