After suffering injuries from a car accident, slip and fall, defective product, medical procedure or more, you may turn to an attorney for guidance in seeking the compensation you deserve. In the uncertainty that follows a serious injury, you may take comfort in knowing you have assistance in navigating the legal challenges ahead.
However, due to a wide array of reasons, your lawyer may fail to take the appropriate action in the time frame that Florida provides for injury victims to pursue damages. This time frame is known as the statute of limitations. When your lawyer’s negligence leads to a critical missed deadline, what do you need to know about your options to hold your attorney accountable?
Florida’s statutes of limitations
It’s helpful to understand the statutes of limitations as applicable to your case. To take legal action after an injury, Florida’s statutes of limitations require you to file a claim by:
- Four years from the date of an accident, including a car accident, slip and fall, defective product or more
- Two years from the date of an injury caused by medical malpractice
- Two years from the date of the wrongful death of a loved one
Some deadlines to file a claim are more straightforward than others. For example, while the date of a car accident is easily identified, it may take weeks or months before you realize the extent of your injuries after a botched surgery or medical procedure. Due to this, the two-year period to file a medical malpractice claim begins after you should have reasonably discovered the injury. However, you cannot pursue a claim more than four years after the date of the incident.
When negligence leads to a missed deadline
When your attorney negligently fails to pursue your claim within the required time frame, you may experience significant harm. Without the possibility of taking legal action for your accident, you may lose out on compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering.
As soon as you can following your injury, pursue legal action to avoid significant delays in your claim. However, when the actions of your attorney cause you to miss such a critical deadline, you may consider pursuing a legal malpractice case against them.