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.

slip and fall in apartment building

slip and fall in apartment buildingAs a tenant living in an apartment building, it is reasonable to expect that the building and the area around it will be maintained for safety. Unfortunately, this is not always the case,and many tenants endure injuries. While proving the responsibility of the landlord is a major factor, it is important that tenants know that they are able to claim financial compensation if the landlord was negligent. Tampa FL slip and fall lawyers can walk through what this means and help determine if you are able to proceed with further legal action. When an attorney from Wagner McLaughlin works with you, they will ensure that you understand if you have a case and what you need to do next.


Landlord Negligence

When you have a slip and fall at an apartment building and wish to hold the landlord responsible, you have to prove that the landlord was negligent. Generally, a landlord is responsible for maintaining the property inside and outside. This means that issues in the apartment and on the outdoor grounds should be promptly corrected. While this is the job of the landlord, the tenant also has the role of reporting issues that are in the apartment. If the tenant has done so, and the landlord hasn’t fixed the problem, they may well be liable for damages. It will also be considered if the landlord should have reasonably known about the problem and failed to fix it.


As a victim of a fall in an apartment building, you will need Tampa FL slip and fall lawyers to represent you so that you can get the money you deserve for your injuries. Let us work for you to help with your claim for financial compensation.


Contact the office of Wagner McLaughlin so that we can schedule a consultation to answer your questions.

visiting a doctor after an accident

visiting a doctor after an accidentIf you have been in a car accident during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are facing a tough situation. While you may hesitate to visit a doctor out of fear of the coronavirus, you will also have injuries that need to be treated and documented. Should you fail to see a doctor in a timely manner, you are putting your health at risk as well as making it less likely that you will gain compensation for your injuries. Rather than let this happen, seek legal advice from Tampa FL car accident attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin.


Medical Documentation

While ensuring you will have your car accident injuries addressed promptly by doctors who can give you the treatment you need, visiting a doctor will also allow you to have your injuries immediately documented in your medical records. By doing so, an insurance company will have less chance of claiming you were not seriously injured in your accident, which could let the company deny you the compensation you deserve.


Gaining Compensation

When you are injured in a serious auto accident, through no fault of your own, there is little doubt you will need substantial compensation for your damages. If you were seriously injured, you will likely have medical bills arriving at your mailbox for months, all of which will need to be paid. Also, you will need compensation for the wages you have already lost as well as what you will lose until you can return to work. These damages, along with the pain and suffering you are enduring each day, make it even more critical you visit a doctor as soon as possible after your accident.


Since doctors and hospitals are taking extra precautions to protect non-COVID-19 patients, do not hesitate to seek medical treatment following your car accident. To gain further legal advice regarding your accident, schedule a consultation at once with Tampa FL car accident attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin.

injured while shopping

injured while shoppingEven while the COVID-19 pandemic plays out across the country, that does not mean you can avoid going to the grocery store for various essentials. Unfortunately, despite social distancing, you may be injured while shopping. Whether this involves a slip and fall accident in a store aisle, being struck by falling merchandise from store shelves, or other circumstances, never hesitate to seek advice regarding compensation for your injuries. To start the process, turn to personal injury attorneys in Tampa FL at Wagner McLaughlin.


Evidence of Your Injuries

When you are injured in a grocery store, it will be crucial you have as much evidence as possible supporting your case. In most cases, this will involve video footage from the store, eyewitness statements as to what happened, and photos of the accident scene. In addition, always allow yourself to receive medical treatment at the store and be taken to a hospital for additional treatment, since this will show insurance companies you were indeed seriously injured in your accident.


Say as Little as Possible about the Accident

When you are at the store following your accident, say as little as possible about what happened until you have spoken to personal injury attorneys in Tampa FL at Wagner McLaughlin. Unfortunately, if you say something as simple as “I’m sorry” to a store manager, they can try to use this against you to claim you caused the accident. Should this happen, you may lose out on the chance to be compensated for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages.


While you may think the grocery store and its insurance company will want to help you in these situations, it is typically in their best interest to try tomake you look as bad as possible. To have expert legal representation on your side, consult at once with personal injury attorneys in Tampa FL at Wagner McLaughlin.

car crash accident

car crash accidentWhen you are involved in a car crash, you may not immediately go to the doctor. In many situations, you may not believe you sustained injuries. However, when you have suffered a concussion, whiplash, back injuries, or blunt force trauma leading to internal bleeding, symptoms may not develop for several days. Thus, when you do seek medical treatment and later file a claim, insurance companies will use the lapse in time to coerce you into thinking you don’t have a case. Don’t let them.


Verifying Your Injuries

Even if you waited several days before seeking medical treatment, speaking to car accident lawyers in Tampa FL at Wagner McLaughlin may help you realize you do in fact still have a valid legal case. Depending on your injuries, your attorneys can work with doctors who can serve as expert witnesses and testify in court on your behalf. By having your injuries documented in medical records, expert witnesses can testify when the injuries took place and that they are consistent with injuries sustained in the type of accident you encountered.


Gaining Compensation

Though it can be more difficult to obtain compensation for your injuries from insurance companies if you fail to seek immediate medical treatment after an accident, it is by no means an impossible task. By hiring car accident lawyers in Tampa FL such as those at Wagner McLaughlin, an insurance company will know it can no longer rely on intimidation and coercion to convince you compensation will not be heading your way.


To make sure you gain fair and much-needed compensation for injuries you sustained in a car accident, immediately hire car accident lawyers in Tampa FL from Wagner McLaughlin. By doing so, you’ll have attorneys on your side who take a no-nonsense approach with insurance companies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

personal injury claim during covid

personal injury claim during covidShould you get injured due to a slip and fall, defective product, or even a car accident during COVID-19, you may think you have few options regarding a personal injury lawsuit. However, this is not true. In fact, attorneys are handling personal injury claims each and every day. Yet, while this is the case, there are things you should be aware of concerning how COVID-19 may affect your lawsuit. To get the best advice during these unprecedented times, consult with Tampa FL personal injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin.


Don’t Delay Medical Treatment

Since many people are afraid of being infected with COVID-19 in hospitals or while visiting a doctor, accident victims are choosing to delay getting treatment for their injuries. If you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, this is a critical mistake. Florida law requires you to see a doctor within 14 days of your accident; if you do not, your own insurance company may reduce the amount it is obligated to pay you under your “personal injury protection (PIP)” coverage. By delaying treatment, you put your health in jeopardy while giving insurance companies the chance to claim your injuries were not serious enough to warrant medical treatment. Therefore, always get immediate medical treatment and have your injuries documented by doctors.


Accepting a Quick Insurance Settlement

If you are like many people during the pandemic, you may be facing stressful financial circumstances that have been made more difficult by your accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies are well aware of this and will likely use it to their advantage. Since the insurance company will want to compensate you little, if any, for your injuries, it may contact you and offer you a quick settlement for a very low amount of money. Rather than immediately accepting this offer, let Tampa FL personal injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin negotiate for you to ensure you get maximum compensation to pay medical bills and replace lost income.

Should you have additional questions as to how you can pursue your personal injury lawsuit during COVID-19, consult immediately with Tampa FL personal injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin.

Tampa bus Injury lawyers

bus accidentsAt the time of a motor vehicle accident, injured parties are not contemplating their legal rights and remedies. They have one objective: recover from what is often an extremely traumatic event.

Bus accident cases magnify issues injured parties are forced to deal with: medical expenses, liability issues, deadlines and receiving adequate compensation commensurate with their injuries.

Liability issues are often the most difficult to determine, even for the most experienced attorney. Common questions abound in bus accident cases such as: was the bus driver intoxicated? Was the bus driver properly trained? Were the other vehicles involved in the accident at fault?

Most often, it is some combination of factors that determine liability in bus accident cases. Due to the complexity of these issues, it is recommended that only attorneys that have handled such matters in the past should be consulted with and retained by clients seeking Tampa bus injury lawyers.

The attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin have over fifty years of experience servicing the citizens of Tampa FL. If you are seeking an accident attorney in Tampa FL, Wagner McLaughlin has the experience clients deserve and require.

Parties injured in a motor vehicle accident should focus on recovery from the injuries suffered at the time of the accident. Recovery requires focus and dedication, and the stress and anxiety involved in dealing with insurance companies, deadlines and medical billing offices can exacerbate a client’s already-painful and debilitating injuries.

If you have been involved in a bus accident, the Tampa bus injury lawyers that possess the level of experience clients deserve are the attorneys at Wagner McLaughlin. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle or bus accident, call us today and schedule a consultation at 813-225-4000.

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.

parking accident

Tampa Fl injury lawyersParking lots are much more dangerous than many people realize. It’s not just the fact that there are always cars moving in and out – there are also countless pedestrians wandering through, not always paying attention to where they are or where they are going. If you have been injured in a parking lot, you may wonder if compensation is even a possibility. The Tampa FL injury lawyers at Wagner McLaughlin can help you determine whether you may be due recovery for any injury that you have suffered.

As with most personal injury lawsuits, you’re going to need to establish a few things in order to get compensation. The first, and most important, is that you have to be injured in a way that the law recognizes as recoverable. Being bumped by a car and having to miss a movie isn’t an injury – but being knocked down and having to go to the ER to deal with your injuries is another matter. You’ll also need to show that those injuries were, in fact, the fault of another party – almost always through either their negligent or reckless actions. For this, you’ll need the help of a good Tampa personal injury law firm.

Experienced Tampa Fl injury lawyers are going to be your most important allies if you wish to get compensation. Not only are they going to help you figure out if your injuries actually rise to the level at which compensation is possible, but your attorney will help you figure out what steps to take next. In some cases, this means pursuing a lawsuit. In others, it may mean negotiating with an insurance company to get a reasonable settlement.

The only way you can figure this out, though, is to talk to an experienced attorney. If you’ve been hurt, make sure to contact the Tampa personal injury law firm of Wagner McLaughlin.