Under Florida Statute 95.11(3)(a), the statute of limitations for drivers to file an accident claim is four years after the date of the crash. If you miss this deadline by even one day, you will be unable to recover any compensation for your accident.
Four years may sound like a lot of time to file a claim, but there are several exceptions to the four-year timeline. In those cases, drivers have an even shorter period of time to file their claims.
What are the exceptions to the four-year statute of limitations?
The four-year statute of limitations is only for accident claims based on the negligence of the other driver. But if someone died in the crash, your claim will be based on wrongful death instead of negligence. When this happens, you will only have two years to file your claim before the statute of limitations for your crash runs out and you lose your right to compensation.
Similarly, if the party you are filing your claim against is a government employee, you face different deadlines. If suing the government following a car accident, you must provide notice within three years of the accident and cannot file a lawsuit until following a 180-day (six-month) investigation period, unless the government denies the claim.
Are there deadlines for filing a claim with my own insurance company?
Since Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, you may first file a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, regardless of fault, before you file a liability claim against or sue the other driver. And with PIP insurance comes another important deadline: the 14-day treatment requirement.
The 14-day treatment requirement is a rule established by Florida Statute 627.736(1)(a) that states that those injured in a car crash must seek medical attention within two weeks of the crash. If you visit the doctor on the 15th day, you will lose your right to compensation through PIP insurance.
Act Quickly to Preserve Evidence for Your Claim
After a car crash, some drivers are not ready to file an accident claim right away. It’s natural to want to delay the claims process, especially when you know you have a few years to do it and if you are hospitalized or recuperating after the crash.
But the longer you wait to file your claim, the less likely you will be able to recover important evidence from the crash. For example, while you were getting back on your feet, the other driver may have repaired the worn-down brakes on their car that contributed to the accident. And the longer you wait, the fuzzier eyewitnesses’ recollections may become.
Call Coffey Trial Law for Help Filing Your Claim or Lawsuit
As you can see, there are multiple deadlines associated with car accidents. Accidents may have different deadlines depending on the circumstances of the crash. The lawyers of Coffey Trial Law will advise you or the deadlines specific to your case and make sure you take action within the allotted time. Call us today at 954-541-3194 to set up your free initial consultation to find out more.