Not exactly. Although you may be spending your time right now focusing on recovering in the hospital or attending physical therapy and haven’t given much thought to the idea of filing suit, you need to understand that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to sue the party who caused the accident. In fact, you are subjected to a very specific time limit for how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Hillsborough County. The legal term that is used to refer to this timeframe is called the statute of limitations.
What is the statute of limitations in Florida and how long does a truck accident victim have after a collision to file suit against the other party?
You likely heard the term statute of limitations when dealing with a credit or business-related matters, but you may not know how it applies to personal injury cases. When it comes to personal injury cases, whether they stem from a car or semi-truck accident, the statute of limitations refers to the period of time a victim has to bring a lawsuit against another party. Typically, the statute of limitations begins right after the wreck has occurred or after you have been made aware of your injuries.
In Florida, a victim of a truck accident has four years from the date of the accident or injury to formally file their lawsuit [Source: Florida State Statute §95.11(3)]. Essentially, what this means is that you can wait up until four years from the date of your accident or injury to sue the other party. Now, let’s say you decide to file your lawsuit after four years have passed, which means the statute of limitations is up, you then risk having your lawsuit dismissed. Only under certain circumstances will a court allow a case even after the statute of limitations has passed.
Although four years might seem like a long period of time, there is a lot that must be done before a lawsuit can even be filed. For instance, you will need to know how much you have accrued in medical expenses and plan to accrue in the future. How will you know this if your injuries haven’t fully healed or your physician hasn’t provided you with a prognosis? The truth is, you won’t know how much to ask for until your physician is able to determine what the likelihood is of your injury healing or if it is permanent.
Once this is determined, you and a truck accident attorney in Tampa, FL can sit down and estimate what you should receive in terms of medical expenses.
Now, you will also need to identify any other damages (i.e. pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, etc.) that you are entitled to collect and place a value on each. Once you have successfully assessed all your damages and what they are worth, you can then proceed on and file your personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, it might take a victim six to eight months to file suit, while in other cases that involve much more severe injuries, those victims might have to wait one to two years before they can take any sort of legal action.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit against a trucking company in Tampa, FL for the collision their driver caused, we encourage you to contact Larson Johnson, PL to speak with a qualified Tampa, FL truck accident lawyer who can determine if you have a viable case.
Larson Johnson, PL is located at:
2011 West Cleveland Street
Tampa, Florida 33606