Exceptions to the Florida Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury

In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims – the deadline for filing a lawsuit – is 4 years for claims against private individuals and entities, and 3 years for claims against public entities such as the government or various government agencies.  The statute of limitations period begins to run on the date of the injury-causing incident, except in certain personal injury cases involving product liability claims (where the delayed discovery rule may apply). If you think that your case may meet an exception for the statute of limitations in Florida, contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer.

For more information on the delayed discovery rule, see our introductory article on the personal injury statute of limitations.

Understanding and abiding by the statute of limitations is crucial to the success of a personal injury lawsuit.  If you wait too long to file your lawsuit and the applicable statute of limitations period runs out, then you will no longer be legally entitled to litigate your claim and recover damages for your injuries, even if you have a strong claim.  It is therefore always good policy to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident, so that your claims can be identified and assessed, and your lawsuit can be filed in a timely manner.

Fortunately, all may not be lost if you have waited too long to consult with an attorney and to file a lawsuit.  Depending on the circumstances, the court may extend, suspend, or toll the statute of limitations, thus preventing the destruction of your claims.

Tolling the Limitations Period

Tolling the statute of limitations period is simply another way of saying that the limitations period has been “put on pause,” or suspended.  When the statute of limitations is tolled, the plaintiff is given additional time to file a lawsuit.

Absence or concealment of the defendant

The statute of limitations will be tolled for a period of time during which the defendant is absent from the state of Florida.  If the defendant is located in the state of Florida, but is being concealed so as to prevent the service of process upon them, then the limitations period may also be tolled.  This tolling exception is intended to support plaintiffs who are dealing with irresponsible defendants who needlessly drag out and evade service of process.

Mental incapacity

Mentally incapacitated or incompetent persons may have their limitations period tolled so long as the mental incapacity existed prior to the injury.  Mental incapacity resulting from the injury does not qualify for tolling.  A determination will have to be made as to the incapacity or incompetency of the plaintiff before tolling is allowed.

Importantly, though the limitations period may be tolled for mental incapacity, it cannot be tolled indefinitely.  Florida imposes a hard deadline for personal injury actions – they must be brought within 7 years of the date of injury.

Arbitration proceedings

If there is a pending arbitration proceeding related to the personal injury dispute at-issue, then the statute of limitations period will be tolled until the arbitration is complete.  This tolling provision is intended to encourage plaintiffs and defendants to engage in arbitration as an alternative means for dispute resolution.

Though Florida law provides for tolling in certain specific circumstances, the running of the statute of limitations is a significant danger.  Plaintiffs with legitimate claims can lose their right to file a lawsuit and recover for their injuries.

Contact Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of someone else’s wrongful acts or omissions, seek legal guidance from a skilled Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A..

Client Testimonials

“…the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated”

Fuchs was my car accident attorney and was very responsive from the first call. I had medical care the next day and the whole process was smooth. They handled everything with the insurance companies and coordinated all of the necessary medical information. It was a long process and in the end the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated I am more than happy and grateful for the outcome.

Sean O.
Google Review
“Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely.”

It’s been a long bumpy road to recovery but with David and his office’s help, we finally got it done! Through a great network of professionals, David Fuchs makes a good experience out of what could’ve been quite a headache. Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely. Thank you!

Giovanni G.
Google Review
“…they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved.”

I got in an accident in December 2021 when everyone was short staffed and insurance companies was not responsive. My boyfriend reached out to David F. and what a life changing experience. We had the pleasure of having all our worries handed to professional help. They worked diligently on our case, answered questions when asked and kept us updated on changes. More importantly they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved. I have dealt with others in the past but David got me the most according to the facts presented and never backed down when the insurance companies tried to make us settle for less. Thank you David, Jessica and the team for all your effort and hard work. I will recommend them to family and friends. [They’re] the best in town!

Sheila N.
Google Review
“Best lawyer in Broward County”
Evans P.
Google Review
“Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful.”

I highly recommend Law offices of David Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful. The case was handled in a timely manner and I was always informed if there were any changes or updates with my case.

Velouse G.
Google Review
“Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know.”

Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know. He is really good at what he does and puts 110% in you case. I have been using him for 19 years now and refer all my friends to him. I can leave him alone with my case and not call him all the time. I know he is working hard in my case. When he has any information he calls me and we go from there. There are not a lot of attorneys I can do that with! If you have any Personal Injuries please do call him. You won’t be disappointed!!

Libby E.
Google Review
“I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.”

At first I was afraid…I was petrified! I truly was! But the extensive knowledge, patience and professionalism I received brought me not only such peace and assurance that I was in good hands, but we got through my case like shining stars! David made sure I understood exactly what, when, where, why and [answered] whatever question I had. I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.

Donna M.
Google Review
“They have a wonderful team.”

…took care of my well-being [and were] very informative about my situation. [T]hey were on the ball when it came down to settling…I highly recommend David.

Nicholas G.
Google Review
“My experience with David Fuchs was awesome.”

I got a really good return… thank you David Fuchs and staff for being so helpful and working so hard to help us, you are appreciated.

Yvette W.
Google Review
“This is a great law office.”

The David I Fuchs law office is a group of excellent people that helped to their fullest potential. They treated me with respect and I really appreciate that. This is a great law office.

Jonathan Z.
Google Review
“Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident.”

It has been an unexpected journey since stepping foot in Florida. Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident. I just want to thank the staff and all the support. The Therapy the doctors; you guys were awesome and made me feel better in my situation. This the first time I ever experience such a thing but I’m blessed , thankful and behind it all DAVID FUCHS who made it happen for me.

Sade P.
Google Review
“They helped tremendously!”

I would totally recommend David to everyone. They’re extremely professional and work in a timely manner. They helped tremendously!

A Boone
Google Review
“I highly recommend this man.”

A good man knows, his law 35 years experience. Will get the job done and help you and your family get compensated for you pain and damages. I highly recommend this man. I want to revisit my review and say that Mr. Fuchs always picks up his phone and answer any questions that may pertain to my case. Thank you, David.

N. Hit
Google Review
“He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner.”

David Fuchs was my car accident attorney. He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner. I would highly recommend him to others.

Samantha D.
Google Review
“…all went good and successful. thank you so much for all your help.”

I got into an accident for the first time and I didn’t know what do or how things works, but I was lucky to find a professional and helpful people to guide through this experience.
They did take care of my case all went good and successful thank you so much for all your help.

Karen G.
Google Review
“Very professional. Had no problems with communication”
Zuberi L.
Google Review
“He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.”

I was in a car accident and looking for a professional, caring attorney.I was fortunate to find Mr. Fuchs, who helped me through the whole process. He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.

Joan K.
Google Review
“My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled.”

Had a car accident and needed an advocate to communicate my concerns through my insurance provider. The law office of David Fuchs, was efficient and thorough. My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled. Would highly recommend giving this office a call if you need legal assistance.

Willie M.
Google Review
“A+++++ recommended.”

I want to thank the office of David Fuch’s. A+++++ recommended.

J. Hernandez
Google Review
“I could not have asked for a better team by my side.”

They were very helpful. I could not have asked for a better team by my side.

S. Rodriguez
Google Review
“They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me.”

I was in an accident mid last year and Mr. Fuchs handled my case and his case manager[s] Yessi and Jessica were very informative as to the process. They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me. Mr. Fuchs was extremely knowledgeable and informed me of everything that would happen in my case. I will recommend this firm to my family and friends and i will be using their services in future if need be.

Pastor D.
Google Review