When a person is injured in an accident, they will normally file a personal injury claim. The insurance company will review the facts of the case and will either accept or deny the claim. If they accept the claim they will make the claimant an offer.
Unfortunately, the offer will normally be for a much lower amount than what the claimant deserves. In many cases, a person will consider suing the insurance company when the settlement offer is too low.
If you are considering suing an insurance company, you should be aware that there are time limits for filing such a suit. You should also talk to a lawyer about your case, to find out if a lawsuit is worth your time.
How much time do I have?
If you live in the state of Florida, you will have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Be sure to review your accident report carefully and make sure the date is correct. The clock starts ticking the second you have the accident. If you are even one day late, you will not be allowed to file the suit.
Exceptions to the Rule
When you are in an accident there are some injuries that may not be immediately apparent. If an injury was discovered weeks after the collision, an attorney may be able to argue that you should have more time to file your case. If you are suing a government entity, you may have less time to file.
The statute of limitations in Florida is actually generous compared to other states. The limits are two years in the majority of states. In Tennessee, you only have a year to file a claim. Only Maine and North Dakota allow people 6 years to file a suit.
Why are There Statutes of Limitations
Statues are set by legislative bodies. These statutes have their roots in Roman Law. They were originally intended to facilitate a judgment in a fair amount of time. When a legislature sets a statute they try and determine what a reasonable period of time would be for that particular type of case.
There are some general exceptions to the statute laws. If a person is mentally incapacitated for a certain time period or if the injured party is a child the time limit may be extended.
Fraud is also a reason for an exception. If a person did not know about a cause of action. For example, if a company makes a product that is later found to cause cancer, people who bought that product may be able to sue.
Finding an Attorney
If you consult with an attorney right after you are injured, it will save you valuable time if you end up needing to file a lawsuit. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They are likely to be able to work out a deal with the insurance company so you won’t have to go to court at all.
Time and money are two of the most important things in life. You should never let time get in the way of receiving the money you deserve.