If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident or another type of incident, you’re probably wondering what the statute of limitations for TBI is in Florida. Since most TBI cases fall under the personal injury category, you’ll likely have four years from the date of the accident to submit a lawsuit.
That said, you could have a shorter or longer timeframe to take legal action depending on the details of your case and the cause of your brain injury. To find out how long you have to submit a civil suit, contact a personal injury lawyer from Viles & Beckman today. They’ll advise you on your legal right and filing deadline during a free, no-obligation consultation.
Factors that May Affect How Long You Have to File a TBI Suit in Florida
While TBI victims have to follow the four-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits outlined in Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11(3)(a), your case could be an exception to the rule, or there might be another statute that applies to your situation.
The following factors may change the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against the guilty party:
The TBI Resulted from Medical Malpractice
If your or your loved one’s TBI resulted from a doctor’s negligence, your time limit to file a medical malpractice lawsuit will be shorter than the timeframe from personal injury actions. According to Florida’s statute of limitations, you’ll have two years from the day you discover your TBI to submit a suit.
However, there is a four-year statute of repose, so you won’t be able to seek damages if more than four years have passed since the victim sustained a TBI, even if they were unaware of it at the time.
The TBI Resulted in a Coma
Some brain injuries can result in comas that last for a long period of time. If your TBI resulted in prolonged incapacitation, you’ll have seven years from the day you sustained your injury to file a lawsuit. Once you’re cognitively able to pursue legal action, an attorney can make sure your suit is submitted correctly and promptly.
The Victim Is a Minor
When a minor suffers a brain injury in an accident they didn’t cause, they’ll have seven years from the day of their injury to file a claim. If they are almost 18 at the time of the incident, they’ll have four years from their 18th birthday to file a suit against the at-fault party.
Your Filing a TBI Suit Against a Government Entity
If you sustained a TBI after getting hit by a government vehicle or after involvement in another type of incident caused by a public employee, you’ll have a shorter statute of limitations than other personal injury plaintiffs in Florida.
According to the law, you’ll have three years from the date of your accident to submit a suit against the government agency that employs the guilty party.
The Defendant Fled or Is in Hiding
If the party that caused your accident fled the state or is currently in hiding, your time limit to file a lawsuit will be paused until the defendant is located.
For a free legal consultation, call (239) 334-3933
How to Ensure Your TBI Suit Is Filed Within Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Your ability to pay your medical bills and afford long-term treatment depends on the success of your case. To ensure you get the compensation you need to manage your condition and cover your other losses, you’ll want to do everything you can to get your suit filed on time.
Here’s what you can do to make sure your suit is compliant with Florida’s statute of limitations:
Know Your Filing Deadline
One of the most important things to know about your TBI case is the statute of limitations that applies to it and how long Florida law gives you to submit a suit. If you’re unsure how much time you have, an attorney can help you determine which statute of limitations applies to your case.
Gathering evidence at the scene of the accident can save your attorney a lot of time. If you were involved in a car accident, take photos of the vehicles involved and ask eyewitnesses if they’re willing to give your attorney a statement regarding the crash.
The more evidence you’re able to collect, the more time you’ll save, giving your lawyer the time they need to get your suit filed before the deadline.
Keep Accurate Records
It can also be helpful to keep track of the timeline of events following your accident. You’ll want to write down when the incident occurred when you first received medical treatment, and when you discovered that you had suffered a TBI.
Keeping a record of these important dates can help you and your attorney determine how long you have to file a suit. You’ll also want to keep copies of your medical records and bills so your lawyer has the evidence they need to support your lawsuit.
Hire an Attorney ASAP
No matter how long you have to file a lawsuit, you should hire an attorney as soon after your accident as possible. You never know how long the investigation process or another aspect of your case will take, so it’s always smart to play it safe and get started right away.
When you’re looking for the right lawyer for your case, find one who is familiar with the statute that applies to your situation. You’ll also want to make sure that their caseload isn’t too heavy. If a lawyer has too much on their plate, you might want to reconsider working with them, as they may not have the time to get your suit filed before the due date.
Our Team Can Get Your TBI Suit Filed Within Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident and the challenges that come with a brain injury can be time-consuming and stressful. If you’re recuperating from a TBI accident, you’ll need experienced legal assistance to get the compensation you need to get your life back on track and your health in check.
Fortunately, the personal injury attorneys at Viles and Beckman can help you understand the statute of limitations for TBI in Florida and ensure your suit is filed on time. Whether your injury was caused by a car crash, medical malpractice incident, or another type of accident, our team can make sure your lawsuit is as strong as possible and compliant with state law.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.