Statute of Limitations in Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Cases
After a car crash, timing can be everything. Even if you have a strong car accident claim, you could forfeit your ability to get compensation if you don’t file the claim in a reasonable amount of time following the crash.
You are expected to act quickly after a car accident and file a car insurance claim as soon as possible. If the insurance claim is not fruitful, you should proceed with a lawsuit.
Deciding what steps to take and when can be difficult. You shouldn’t have to deal with the situation alone. Instead, work with a car accident lawyer who can guide you through the process and relieve your stress.
Call attorney David I. Fuchs or reach out online to schedule your initial consultation.
How Many Car Accident Claims Are Filed in Florida Each Year?
There are nearly 400,000 traffic crashes annually in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Most of those require an insurance claim; however, a personal injury lawsuit is not filed in many.
The purpose of filing a car insurance claim is to get your losses covered. You will likely have medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more that need to be compensated after a crash. Your own insurance – often Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – will cover those costs in many cases. However, other damages, like pain and suffering, may require a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If you sue the other party, you should be aware of important dates on the timeline. A skilled Fort Lauderdale attorney can help you keep thse deadlines in mind.
Filing a Car Accident Claim – Important Fort Lauderdale Deadlines
It’s essential to act fast after a crash: the insurance companies and the state’s legal system have deadlines you must meet.
Getting Medial Attention
If you have PIP insurance, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of any accident. If you don’t, your car insurance will not likely cover the damages associated with your injuries. This immediate medical treatment will ensure you don’t have unseen injuries and establish a baseline for the severity of your conditions.
Contacting the Police & Filing a Report
Immediately after the accident, you should call 911. An officer will respond to the accident scene and write a police report. This report will be used to support your claims of what happened in the crash.
If you don’t call the police, you are still required to file a Florida Traffic Crash Report for most accidents. You have 10 days after the crash to file a report with the FLHSMV. Please note that a crash report filed by the individuals involved in the accident will not carry as much weight as evidence as one completed by a police officer.
How Long After an Accident Can You File a Claim in Florida?
Insurance companies have various requirements for filing a car accident claim. If you are making a claim with your own insurance company, you may have to report an accident within 24 hours. However, if you are receiving emergency medical attention, you may have longer. When considering the deadline to make an insurance claim, you should consult with a car accident representative right away.
Your attorney can review your policy and make sure you comply with it to help you get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
If the insurance companies refuse to pay for your damages or don’t make an acceptable settlement offer, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are strict deadlines, called “statutes of limitation,” involved with filing a car accident lawsuit.
The statute of limitations for a car accident in Fort Lauderdale is four years. If you do not file a lawsuit within four years of your crash, you may forfeit your ability to recover any compensation. Four years may sound like a long time but collecting evidence and negotiating with the car insurance company before filing a suit may take longer than you would think. You should begin talking to an attorney as early as possible to get the process started.
Things to Remember After a Car Crash in Fort Lauderdale
Filing a car accident insurance claim can be complex. You must keep many deadlines in mind to ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve.
Here are some things to keep in mind after a car accident.
How Long Does It Take to Reach a Car Accident Settlement?
It can take months or years to get a car accident settlement with the insurance company. Many insurance companies try to delay claims or draw out the process in hopes that you will give up. You may have to file a lawsuit to let them know you mean business. According to a study by Nolo.com, the average amount of time it took for a personal injury case to resolve was about 11 months.
What Can Negatively Affect a Car Accident Claim?
Besides missing essential deadlines, some other actions and omissions can impede a car accident claim.
Failure to get proper medical care and continue that medical treatment under doctors’ orders is a primary reason why car insurance claims are denied. Because insurance companies are looking for ways to limit the payout, they may argue that you are not seriously injured if you don’t get medical care or stick to a prescribed treatment routine after the crash.
You should keep track of your pain and suffering and how it affects your life. “Pain and suffering” is a problematic damage to prove without some evidence. By keeping a journal after your accident, you can support your claims of pain severity and limitations in your life.
You Should Work with a Fort Lauderdale Lawyer After a Car Accident
A Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal system after a car accident and ensure you don’t miss important deadlines. It would be tragic to have significant losses and be unable to obtain compensation just because you were a few days or weeks too late to file a lawsuit. Don’t let this happen to you. The statute of limitations in Fort Lauderdale car accident cases is important to respect, so reach out to our office today to learn more.