The amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit for money damages will depend on the legal theory you pursue in your lawsuit. A “statute of limitations” means the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you can lose the right to go after compensation for your losses.
If you’re wondering what is the Florida premises liability statute of limitations, here are the details:
Two Years or Four Years
If you sue for financial damages because you got injured on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence, Florida statutes gives you four years to file a lawsuit. On the other hand, if you are a legal beneficiary of someone who died on someone else’s property because of negligence, you only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Let’s say that you broke your leg when you slipped on a slick patch of floor in a grocery store. You allege that the store was negligent for failing to clean up the spill promptly, and that this carelessness resulted in your injury. You will have up to four years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against the grocery store for your damages.
If, though, the person who slipped and fell hit his head and suffered a fatal skull fracture instead of a broken leg, his legal heirs might have a claim against the store owner for wrongful death. In this situation, the time limit is two years.
That’s the key difference regarding the Florida premises liability statute of limitations.
Two years can go by quickly when there has been a death in the family. Sometimes a person survives for weeks or months before passing away. By the time you get your life back on track after your loved one’s death, the two-year time limit can be near.
The Doctrine of Laches
Be aware that Florida uses the doctrine of laches, also called “sitting on one’s rights.” If a person causes prejudice to the defendant by unreasonable delay in filing a lawsuit, the judge can dismiss the action, even if the deadline has not yet passed. It is better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to talk to a lawyer right away about your personal injury claim. That is another element Florida premises liability statute of limitations important to keep in mind.
How to Avoid the Deadline Trap
Sometimes an insurance claims adjuster will seem cooperative and negotiate with an injured person. It looks as if you will reach a settlement with the insurance company, and then, one day, the adjuster stops returning your phone calls and does not answer your emails. You discover, to your dismay, that the insurer no longer has any responsibility to pay for your losses because the statute of limitations has passed.
That’s why it’s so important to find out what is the Florida premises liability statute of limitations.
Many people who try to handle their personal injury claims without a lawyer fall into this trap. If you have not settled your claim or filed a lawsuit before the applicable deadline, you will lose the right to go after money damages from the person who hurt you or his liability insurance carrier. Protect yourself from this outcome by getting a lawyer early on in the process.
At the Montero Law Center, all we do is help people who have suffered harm as a result of the actions of others. Our firm is rooted in the old-fashioned values of faith, family, and hard work, and we want to put these values to work for you. If you or a loved one got hurt on someone else’s property, we might be able to help. Call us today at (954) 767-6500 for a free consultation.