How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury in Florida?

How Long After Car Accident Can You Claim Injury in Florida?

Car accidents are traumatizing and confusing experiences for everyone. In some cases, people get seriously injured and begin undergoing treatment right away. In other situations, you may feel lucky to be able to walk away and be more concerned about damage to you or another party’s vehicle.

Accident-related injuries very often have a delayed onset. If you start to notice problems weeks or even months after your accident, you may be worried that it’s too late to make a claim. It is important to seek medical care immediately after an accident, because Florida law gives you a limited amount of time to make an injury claim with your insurance if you’ve been in a collision.

Read on to learn more about what the law says and how a personal injury lawyer can help if you have been in a car accident and sustained injuries.

How Long Do You Have to File an Injury Claim after an Accident in Florida?

To receive personal injury protection (PIP) for an accident-related injury, Florida Statute 627.736 states that there is a 14-day window to seek medical care and file a claim. After this, claimants have a much higher chance of having their claim denied and may have to file a lawsuit.

According to Florida Statute 95.11, in most cases you have four years from the date of the accident to file an injury lawsuit in Florida. Filing a lawsuit can be far more complex, and would generally require the other party to be at fault, or share some of the fault.

No matter what, it is always in your best interest to file your injury claim and start proceedings as early as possible.

What If You Don’t Claim Your Injury Right Away?

Under Florida law, everyone is entitled to compensation for injuries suffered in a car accident through personal injury protection (PIP) regardless of who caused the accident. This entitles you to coverage of 80% of your medical and 60% of your lost wages from an accident, up to $10,000.

To receive any compensation for medical treatment and injuries, it needs to be proven that the injuries and the accident are linked, which is why there is such an initial short window. The longer after the accident you wait to make a claim, the harder it becomes to prove the cause of the injury.

If you have waited to file an injury claim after an accident, working with an experienced car accident attorney can help you make sure that you receive any compensation you are entitled to. Building a successful injury claim takes time, and insurance companies are incentivized to deny and minimize claims whenever possible.

An attorney can take the following steps to conduct a thorough investigation of the collision and resulting injuries, including:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Properly documenting medical services to ensure they are tied to the injury
  • Helping you file and negotiate an injury claim with your insurance
  • Helping you calculate damages and expenses
  • Working with the other party and their insurance
  • Working with law enforcement, if they are involved

This can be a time-consuming process, so no matter how long you have already waited, it is important to seek legal assistance right away.

How Fault Can Impact Your Injury Claim

Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that judges can determine a share of fault and adjust compensation and damages accordingly. For example, if one party was ruled to be completely at fault, they would be required to pay 100% of any damages awarded in a lawsuit. But if you were found to have contributed to the accident in some way, your compensation could be reduced in some way, such as by 25%.

Even if your case does not go to trial, insurance adjusters from your insurance and the other party’s insurance may try to claim that you were at least partially at fault for the accident to minimize or deny your claim. Having an attorney on your side means that a fair counter-investigation can take place

How an Attorney Can Protect You and Help You Receive Compensation

In cases of personal injury lawsuits, most claims are settled out of court, often between the insurance companies and the attorneys of both parties. If you are seeking a personal injury claim some time after an accident, a personal injury attorney will know the right questions to ask and how to move forward with a claim, an investigation, and a lawsuit if necessary.

Your lawyer can gather evidence, help you find medical providers who will work with your claim, request medical records, and gather statements from any necessary parties. The objective is to get the compensation you are entitled to for any sustained injuries or property damage.

Contact St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorneys at Clark Hartpence Law for a Free Consultation

No matter whether the accident just happened, or it has been weeks or months, if you have suffered an injury related to the accident, you should seek medical care and compensation for your expenses.

By talking about your case with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, you can gain clarity on how to proceed and get the best possible chance at a positive outcome. At Clark Hartpence Law, we’ll know the best course of action to take. Call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation to find out how to move forward.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.