What is the statute of limitations in Florida for personal injury claims?

statue of limitation

statute of limitationWhat does a statute of limitations mean?

A statute of limitations is basically the amount of time you have to file a case before you can no longer take legal action. Some types of cases do not have a statute of limitations, but most cases do. It’s important to know what the statute of limitations is for each potential case you are considering. And moreover, it’s important to consult with legal counsel as soon as you can, regardless of however long you might have to file a case.

Why does Florida have a statute of limitations?

Every state has statutes of limitations, and those statutes will vary by the type of case. The main reason statutes of limitations exist is so that cases can be built on reliable evidence for both sides. As time goes by, both the physical evidence and eyewitness memory relevant to the lawsuit can deteriorate, making it harder for a judge or jury to issue a verdict.

What is the statute of limitations in Florida for personal injury claims?

That will vary based on the type of case. Let’s look at each area of law right now to see the applicable statute of limitations.

Car Accident

You have four years to sue a negligent driver in Florida if you are injured in a car accident, and five years to sue your uninsured motorist. This does include Uber and Lyft drivers. You do not want to wait to take action, especially because insurance companies will do everything they can to deflect responsibility and draw out your claim—so contact a Tampa car accident attorney to discuss if taking your case to court is the best way to protect your interests.

Truck Accident

A negligent truck driver falls into the same category as a car accident. Shockingly, as recently as 2017, there were 30,000 collisions with heavy or medium trucks on Florida roadways. A crash with a truck can be deadly. If someone dies in the crash, you will need to file a wrongful death lawsuit instead, which has a 2 year statute of limitations. Speaking with a Tampa truck accident lawyer will help you determine if you should file an insurance claim, sue the trucking company, or both.

Motorcycle Accident

It’s a well known fact that motorcycles present more risks for injury and death than cars, and especially in Florida, where you are not required to wear a helmet. Motorcycle accidents are the same as car accidents in terms of a four year statute of limitations (and five for uninsured motorists). Again, keep in mind that a wrongful death claim has a two year statute of limitations, and that PIP claims may need to be filed even sooner to receive full compensation. Talk to a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can to determine the best course of action.

Bike Accident

Like cars, trucks, and motorcycles, the statute of limitations for a bike accident is four years (and five years to sue an uninsured motorist). The most common causes of bike accidents are not bad roads or reckless bicycling. Drivers turning into cyclists, changing lanes into a cyclist, pulling into an intersection and hitting a cyclist, and opening a door at a poorly timed moment are the leading causes of cycler death. Discuss your case with a Tampa bike accident lawyer to determine your options, including whether our own motor vehicle insurance policy will cover you in this instance.

Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrians injured in an accident have four years to bring a case against a negligent driver who injured them, but keep in mind that wrongful death claims have a two year statute of limitations. Most pedestrian deaths actually occur in urban settings and at night, so a Tampa pedestrian accident attorney can review the case with you and help assess if another party might have played a role in the accident—such as a negligent county or city that should have better maintained crosswalks, signage, and lighting.

Premises Liability – Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can occur when an individual slips and gets injured on a hard surface that should have been marked as such—for example, after it’s been cleaned. In colder climates, it’s common for slip and fall accidents to happen on icy patches, but that is not so common in Florida (though it can happen). The statute of limitations for a slip and fall accident is four years, but don’t wait and speak to a Tampa attorney who specializes in premises liability cases; a Tampa slip and fall accident lawyer will review the case with you and determine the best course of action.

Dog Bite Injury

A bite from an animal is no laughing matter. Attacks from certain animals like pit bulls have resulted in death, and animal bite wounds can develop other complications. The statute of limitations for dog bite injuries is four years. However, you should speak with a Tampa dog bite injury lawyer right away. Emerging from your case with a successful verdict against the owner of a dangerous animal can also protect others in your neighborhood from the same fate.

Defective Products

Retailers have an obligation to their customers to provide safe products. Unfortunately, with the proliferation of unchecked eCommerce, there are more safety issues than ever. If you’ve fallen victim to injury because of a defective product, you will have four years to file a lawsuit. Speak with a Tampa defective products attorney as soon as you can to determine the best way to build your case.

Boating Accidents

Florida is home to a number of lakes, rivers, and coastal waterways. If your boating accident occurred in Florida waters, your statute of limitations is four years. If it occurs in federal waters, it will fall under Federal Maritime Law or Admiralty Law, and the statute drops down to three years. Speak to a Tampa boating accident lawyer to discuss your case and determine the best course of action.

Cruise Ship Accidents

Remember to read the fine print on the back of your ticket. In many cases, the statute of limitations can be as little as one year or six months. Despite the fact that today’s cruise ships seem like floating palaces, they are still ships—and sailing on a ship carries plenty of dangers, among them food poisoning, slips and falls, and mechanical accidents. The thought of bringing a lawsuit against a large cruising corporation can seem intimidating, so speak to a Tampa cruise ship accident attorney and discuss the best way to approach your case.

Railroad Accidents

Railroad accidents are truly frightening; a moving train may need as much as a mile in order to slow down. Oftentimes, a collision with a train or a stalled car at a railroad crossing hit by an oncoming train can mean certain death—the statute of limitations of which (in Florida) is two years. If death is not involved, the statutes of limitations can vary depending on who operates the train, a government employee or a private company. It’s important to speak to a Tampa railroad accident attorney as soon as you can to iron out the details and move forward.

Aviation Accidents

Airplanes are statistically more safe to travel in than cars, but airplane accidents do happen, and they can be catastrophic. Remember that wrongful death lawsuits have a two year statute of limitations, which incidentally is the same for international air travel. Sometimes a lawsuit can be brought against the federal government for negligence on the part of air traffic controllers, or for an an accident with an EMS helicopter or municipal airport. The statutes of limitations for each of these types of cases can be difficult to determine and may require analysis of the specific facts involved in your case. ecause of the complexity of aviation accidents and the many factors involved, it’s important to speak to a Tampa aviation accident lawyer to determine the best way forward.

For all of these various cases, individual facts or circumstances are important and can affect the application of the appropriate statute of limitations – which makes it all the more critical that you consult with an attorney about your possible case sooner rather than later. Our attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin would be honored to discuss your options with you. Call us today for a free consultation.

car accident a year ago

car accident a year agoMany people are injured in automobile accidents and do not realize how injured they actually are until later. This is especially true with issues like back injuries that have a way of hanging on throughout the remainder of the victim’s life in some situations. The truth is that many injuries do not manifest quickly, and those who did not file immediately may think they have no recourse after waiting or failing to seek medical treatment. While failing to consult a doctor within 14 days of your accident will affect coverage by your own insurancecompany, you may still be able to file a lawsuit and receive damages paid by the negligent party’s insurance company. There is an important deadline to remember, however. By law, under most circumstances, injured parties have four years to file an injury claim against a negligent actor. This stipulation applies to automobile accidents as well as other accident injury claims. So do not delay. As soon as your begin feeling your injuries, consult an experienced attorney like Wagner McLaughlin Tampa car accident lawyers. We can help you file your claim and maximize your recovery.

 

Starting the Clock

The statute of limitations in all states includes what is termed a “clock” that designates the time at which the limitations period begins. This normally begins at the time of the injury when an injury is realized immediately during the mishap or closely after the fact. However, there could be a determination of a delayed clock beginning when the injury is not recognized by the victim in a timely manner.

 

Limitations Altercations

There are also some cases where the statute of limitations clock can be “tolled,” which is stopping the clock due to the nature of certain physical conditions along the way to recovery. This can be confusing for the typical injured party, but an experienced attorney can often successfully argue the claim to the court in specific instances when an injury is not recovering as expected or when the claimant did not seek extensive medical treatment from the first point the injury was realized. Injuries can worsen over time; someclaims get filed late under certain circumstances.

 

Never assume it is too late to file an accident injury claim. Always call Wagner McLaughlin Tampa car accident lawyers for advice on pursuing damages. Your claim may still be valid and much more valuable than you think.

Tampa FL cruise ship injury lawyers

Tampa FL cruise ship injury lawyersThe world looked on at the horrifying case of an Indiana grandfather whose 18 month-old granddaughter fell to her death through an open window on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Thankfully, more attention is now being directed at injuries and accidents that occur on these ships each year. From sprains and strains to food poisoning, slip and fall accidents, and even sexual assaults, injuries happen more frequently than many imagine. If you are planning a cruise or have been injured in a cruise ship accident, here is why you should speak with Tampa FL cruise ship injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin.

Common Cruise Ship Accidents
While on a cruise ship, you can be involved in many types of accidents that lead to serious injuries. Common examples include slipping and falling on decks or stairways, contracting a serious form of bacterial spread, including the pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease, bedbug bites from unclean linens and cabins, food poisoning from improperly cooked food, being injured from items that fall or move unexpectedly during rough seas, and many other accidents. If you are injured in these or other accidents, consult as soon as possible with experienced Tampa FL cruise ship injury lawyers.

How To Stay Safe
To keep from getting broken bones, lacerations, or other severe injuries while on a cruise ship, there are crucial steps you can take while on board. These include preparing well for your trip, which can consist of being up-to-date on vaccines and bringing along all necessary medications. Along with this, you can also research the cruise line to make sure it does not have a history of passenger injuries and accidents.

While using common sense in these situations will often help you avoid injuries and accidents, unexpected incidents can still happen. If they do and result in you or a loved one being seriously injured, schedule a consultation with Wagner McLaughlin. We would be happy to discuss your case with you, at no cost to you.

Personal injury attorneys in tampa

Personal injury attorneys in tampaAuto accidents involving animal-drawn buggy vehicles are not standard mishaps. Buggies are effectively pedestrians on the highway, but just as in a premise liability claim, the actions of the buggy operator can come into play during the case negotiation. However, the legal dynamics are much different, including responsibility and insurance coverage. Accident cases can be much like a walker being struck by a vehicle, but the buggy is still considered a vehicle of sorts even though it is being driven by muscle power of an animal, typically a horse or burro. Cases can be complicated when the issue goes to court, and negotiations can be difficult as well when the respondent insurance company wants to contest a claim. That is why it is essential to have an experienced legal representative like Wagner McLaughlin personal injury attorneys in Tampa in any buggy accident.

Vehicle Category

An animal-drawn buggy is not considered a highway vehicle in Florida even though they can legally use the road. The Florida law specifically states the difference in vehicles is established by motorized or muscle power as a means of propelling the vehicle. Dune buggies are motorized and classed as off-highway vehicles, and they also do not require registration. Horse-drawn buggies should always display some basic safety awareness placards or a flag per some regulations of the particular highways, and multi-lane roads are not authorized routes. Where an accident happens can make a major difference with respect to negligence and a reasonable duty of care exercised by the driver of any involved vehicle.

Case Complications

The primary case complication in buggy accidents is insurance protection and responsibility. Florida uses no-fault accident law, but buggy operators are not required to carry PIP policies even when they use the roadway. This means injury claims must be filed with the opposing driver’s insurance company, which will also want a responsibility determination from the court. Even when a buggy is involved, accident cases will still be presented in court for authorization to pursue damages.


Anyone who has been involved in a buggy accident should retain legal counsel as soon as possible because of legal technicalities in collecting damages. Always call Wagner McLaughlin personal injury attorneys in Tampa for comprehensive representation.

kids walking on Halloween

kids walking on HalloweenKids and adults enjoy the excitement of Halloween. Spooky costumes, sweet treats, and festive parties are fun for all. But walking on Halloween isn’t always so much fun. Young trick-or-treaters are four times more likely than usual to get injured while out canvassing the neighborhood for treats.

Tampa personal injury attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin have seen too many children injured in risky situations.

Take a look at these tips for staying safe while walking on Halloween.

1. Never Leave Your Child Unattended
In the excitement of trick-or-treating, your child might run ahead of you. When this happens, the risk increases that your child will dart out into the street. Before starting out on your adventure, remind your child to never run into the street. Also, remind them to always look both ways before crossing. But just in case your child is a little too excited to follow the rules, keep them near you at all times.

2. Watch for Driveways
A child might forget that cars not only drive on streets but also exit and enter driveways. So, in addition to safely crossing the street, the child must safely navigate the sidewalks. Remind your child to stop and look before crossing a driveway, to avoid a car entering or leaving a driveway possibly hitting the child.

3. Increase Visibility
Do not let your child wear a dark costume. Light-colored costumes with reflective pieces increase the child’s visibility. At the very least, if the costume is overly dark, place a piece of reflective tape somewhere on the costume. You or your child could also carry flashlights or colorful glow sticks to increase the likelihood that they will be seen.

Safety First
The tips mentioned here will help keep your child safe. But in case a mishap occurs, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer in Tampa. Wagner McLaughlin has Tampa personal injury attorneys skilled in handling cases involving pedestrian injuries. So, when you need an injury lawyer in Tampa, call us to schedule a consultation.

 

car accidents do and donts

car accidents do and dontsWhen you are involved in a car accident, many things will be happening at once. Along with speaking to police, you are also getting treated for any injuries you suffered as well as wondering how your insurance company will react to your accident. In the midst of this chaos, many accident victims make critical mistakes that ultimately cost them the opportunity to gain much-needed compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To learn what to do or not do in the event of a car accident, here are some tips to remember.

Do Take Photos
When involved in an accident, always take photos – if you can do so safely — of vehicle damage, visible injuries you and others may have, property damage, and skid marks or stop signs that may give a clue as to how the accident occurred. Once you have done this, turn over your photos to your Tampa injury lawyer at Wagner McLaughlin so they can use them when planning legal strategy.

Do Not Admit Fault
When speaking with police or other drivers, be mindful of what you say. In the nervousness or stress of the moment, many people admit responsibility or to being at fault when they do not have all of the underlying facts necessary for making such an admission. If you say something such as “I’m sorry” to police or the other driver, Tampa personal injury attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin may have a greater challenge in creating a legal strategy that will show you were not responsible for the accident.

Do Not Refuse Medical Treatment
Particularly if your injuries are more than minor, think twice before refusing medical treatment at the accident scene. If you do and later claim you suffered whiplash, a herniated disc, or other injuries, the other driver’s insurance company is more likely to resist the efforts of your Tampa injury lawyer to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement.

If you are a car accident victim and need legal advice, do not hesitate to schedule an immediate consultation with Tampa personal injury attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin.

personal injury accidents

personal injury accidentsWhether you are involved in a car accident or slip and fall incident, or perhaps bitten by a dog, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit so you can be compensated for your injuries and other damages. However, when these or other similar situations take place, most people have little idea what they need to do next. To make sure you are prepared to work with personal injury lawyers in Tampa, here are important tips to remember when you are involved in a personal injury accident.

Seek Medical Treatment
Your health and recovery is the most important immediate concern. As soon as possible after you are injured, seek appropriate treatment for your injuries. Doing so is the best way to recover or minimize the long-term harm that you will face due to your accident. In addition, your injuries will be documented in your medical charts, providing an important  record of how you were harmed.

Gather Evidence
When involved in a personal injury accident, always gather evidence you can present to your Tampa injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin. This should include not only photos of any visible injuries you sustained, but also property damage, skid marks on a road, or other important aspects. If you are able to take photos at the scene of the accident, be sure to do so safely.

Watch What You Say and Do
When consulting with your personal injury lawyers in Tampa, you will likely be told to watch what you say and do while your case plays out. For example, should you be contacted by an insurance company, your lawyers will likely advise that you say very little and refer them instead to your Tampa injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin. Also, it is usually best to refrain from posting comments or photos regarding your accident on social media, since it is likely your accounts are being monitored by the defendant’s attorney and insurance company. Posts and photos on social media can be taken out of context or give an incomplete and often inaccurate view of the full story.

To ensure you are able to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, never leave your legal fate to inexperienced attorneys. Instead, schedule a consultation with the Tampa injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin to discuss your legal options. We would be happy and honored to help you in your time of need.

slip and fall at grocery store

slip and fall at grocery storeThe grocery store is the last place you expect to be in danger. It is reasonable to expect that the store will make all efforts to maintain a safe environment for its patrons to shop in. Unfortunately, not every grocery store operates according this standard. Some grocers are severely understaffed, and the employees on shift at any given time may be overtaxed. This makes it hard for them to detect spills, slippery floors, and other such hazards.

If you have been injured in an accident that owes to the negligence of the grocery store management, then you should consider taking legal action. Tampa FL slip and fall injury attorneys can help.

Holding Grocery Stores Accountable

While no one should begrudge any business trying to make a profit, all venues in which there is regular public traffic should spend the money necessary to keep their customers safe. Some grocery stores minimize the staff they hire to save money and increase profit. This gets dangerous when the personnel and supervisors are so busy operating the store that they do not notice and correct hazardous situations.

The Consequences of a Slip and Fall

Even if you are relatively healthy person, a slip and fall can leave you seriously injured. If you are completely unaware of a wet surface, you may have no time at all to react to slipping on it. Your fall can cause broken bones, head injuries, and other serious injuries. You will certainly need to go to the emergency room to get a full examination. You may need stitches, bandages, or a cast and crutches if you have broken anything. If you hit your head, the doctor may want to keep you overnight for observation.

How Tampa FL Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys Can Help

You should call an attorney when you feel up to it. Wagner McLaughlin is a firm of attorneys who specialize in getting ordinary people the compensation they deserve from companies whose negligence has led to their injury. If you have been hurt in a grocery store fall, Wagner McLaughlin will help you sort through your legal options.

yield accident

tampa fl injury law firmTraffic laws exist for a reason: to give drivers the instruction and guidance they need to stay safe on the road. When people ignore traffic signs and the rules of the road, they put others in danger. If another driver failed to yield when they were supposed to and it led to an accident that caused you injury, then you should consider taking legal action. Tampa personal injury attorneys can help you.

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable

Some people believe that traffic rules don’t apply to them. They think they can get away with failing to yield when they are supposed to and other types of driving infractions. The driver who caused the accident in which you were injured may not be a serial violator of traffic laws. They may have been in a hurry that day and blew past a yield sign to make an appointment or deal with an emergency. No matter their reason for failing to yield, the person whose reckless action caused the accident must be held accountable.

Why You Need a Lawyer

If you have been in a serious car accident, then you will need to go to the hospital to be checked out for any injuries. And if you were seriously injured, then you must get the proper care and treatment.

When you feel up to it, you should hire a Tampa FL injury law firm. If the other driver was at fault for the accident, then their insurance should pay. Indeed, the other driver’s insurance company may offer you a low-dollar settlement. You should accept no offer until your attorney has had an opportunity to review it. If the initial sum offered covers your medical bills and lost wages and gives reasonable compensation for pain and suffering, then your Tampa FL injury law firm may advise you to accept it. If the sum does not cover your expenses, then they will press for a higher, more justified amount.

Tampa personal injury attorneys help ordinary people get the compensation they deserve. Wagner McLaughlin is a highly experienced and effective personal injury law firm. If you have been in a car wreck, you should contact Wagner McLaughlin to explore your legal options.

tampa fl injury law firm

tampa fl injury law firmWhile hiking can be a fun activity, it can also lead to serious injuries. Time after time, these injuries could have been prevented if not for the negligence of others. If you love to hike but have been injured doing so, here are some common injuries and how slip and fall accident lawyers in Tampa can be of assistance.

Broken Bones
When hikers get hurt, broken bones are very common. Whether it is a broken arm, leg, ankle, or foot from slipping and falling, these injuries can take months to heal. In many situations, injuries such as these are caused by the failure to properly post warning signs for hikers telling them of the difficulty of certain trails, or the hazards they may face ahead. If this happened to you, contact the Tampa FL injury law firm of Wagner McLaughlin.

Lacerations
Since many hiking trails have jagged rocks, severe lacerations on legs, arms, and faces are very common injuries. In many cases, hiking guides who are supposed to be helping hikers stay safe on the trails fail to take into account the potential danger of a certain trail, especially if they are in charge of helping those who may be new to hiking.

Head Injuries
In the most severe instances, injured hikers can sustain concussions or traumatic brain injuries from striking their head against rocks or ledges. Unfortunately, since these hikers may be miles from medical help, the results can often be tragic. If you or a loved one suffered severe head injuries while hiking, contact slip and fall accident lawyers in Tampa to discuss your case.

Rather than let the negligence of inexperienced hiking guides or park administrators keep you from getting the financial compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, schedule an immediate consultation with the Tampa FL injury law firm of Wagner McLaughlin.