How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Florida? By William Chanfrau, Jr. on November 12, 2019

Aftermath of an auto accidentBeing struck by a negligent driver or losing a loved one as a result of another person’s recklessness can be difficult. It’s important that dangerous motorists be held accountable. That’s why you should speak with a Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, FL car accident attorney from Chanfrau & Chanfrau.

It’s imperative that you speak with an auto accident lawyer as soon as possible since there is a set amount of time in which you can file a lawsuit. Our law firm would like to consider the statutes of limitations for filing auto accident litigation in the state of Florida.

About Statutes of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a set amount of time during which a lawsuit can be filed. Once this timeframe has passed, a legal action can no longer be pursued.

While most civil and criminal cases have a statute of limitations, there are a few serious crimes (e.g., murder) that do not have a statute of limitations.

Why Statutes of Limitations Exist

It may not seem fair for a time limit to be in place for seeking a legal action, but it’s essential for fairness and ensuring the justice system functions properly.

For one, statutes of limitations ensure that there is evidence available related to the case. It also ensures that the evidence does not decay or break down due to time. Similarly, statutes of limitations ensure that witness testimony does not become vague due to lapses in memory over time.

In addition, statutes of limitations ensure that old cases from years ago do not clog up the legal system. This puts a focus on relatively recent lawsuits and serious criminal cases.

The Statute of Limitations on Auto Accidents

In the state of Florida, there are separate statutes of limitations for auto accidents depending on the nature of the crash.

  • Non-Fatal Auto Accidents - In non-fatal motor vehicle collisions, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the crash.
  • Fatal Auto Accidents - In fatal motor vehicle collisions, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of a loved one’s death as a result of a crash. In this situation, the surviving family members would file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

There are very rare instances in which an exception may apply to the above statutes of limitations. We stress that for the vast majority of fatal and non-fatal auto accident cases, you have a set time limit of two years and four years, respectively.

Get Your Case Underway as Soon as Possible

While you do have some time following a crash or the loss of a loved one to pursue case, it’s always best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible Lawsuits can take years to resolve, even those that end in settlements. By working with an attorney as soon as you are able, you can increase your chances bringing your case to a resolution in a reasonable amount of time.

Learn More About Car Accident Litigation

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an auto collision, be sure to contact our team of injury accident lawyers. Chanfrau & Chanfrau can be reached in Daytona Beach at (866) 610-0653 and in Palm Coast at (386) 439-7760.

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