A car accident comes with so many consequences: Physical and emotional injuries, damage to your car, increased insurance rates, potential lawsuits, possibly even PTSD. So it’s understandable if you want to take a break and put off managing details that don’t seem urgent.
However, if you want to return to your pre-accident condition (or at least as close as possible), you have to realize that there are certain deadlines that are established by law.
From What Date After the Car Accident Does the Clock Start?
Florida statute of limitation states that time starts on the day of the accident. Now, there are two timeframes you have to keep in mind in order to recover expenses for all of your damages.
Personal Injury Protection
The named insured
Relatives residing with the insured
Anyone driving the insured motor vehicle
Passengers in the insured motor vehicle
Other persons struck by the insured vehicle
PIP also covers 60% of lost wages and is payable every two weeks. These damages are paid up to a limit of $10,000 and are provided regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
The purpose of this statute is to make it easier for people to recover losses after an accident. The claim is filed with your insurance company, then funds are disbursed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and auto repairs.
To receive these benefits, the insured has to file a claim with their insurance company and seek medical attention within 14 days of the accident.
In more severe accidents, damages may exceed $10,000 in losses. If this is the case, your recourse is to file a lawsuit against the other party who may have caused the accident.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
You have extra time to file a lawsuit over the 10K cap in a PIP claim: Florida Law establishes a statute of limitation of four years in this case.
That being said, it is not advisable to wait until the last minute to file your lawsuit. This is because when one party files a claim against another party, attorneys for both sides conduct what’s called “Discovery”. The Discovery process involves exchanging documents (such as medical records, bills or estimates for car repairs and car rental, paystubs, tax returns, and anything else that may corroborate your claims for losses).
In addition, legal representatives for both sides may want to depose (take the sworn testimony) of any parties and witnesses involved in the accident, as well as review any surveillance footage that exists.
Even if you think the accident was pretty straightforward, Discovery can be a lengthy process that can take months or even years to complete. Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible while the details are fresh to determine the best course of action.
What Will Happen if I File a Car Accident Claim After the Deadline?
If you don’t make your clams within the allotted time frame, you will lose any chance of recovery. It doesn’t matter what circumstances you present to excuse your delay, neither an insurance company nor a court of law will entertain your claims. This deadline is called a statute of limitations and it is set in stone.
Call Clark Law if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay
If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. At Clark Law, we have experienced attorneys who regularly represent clients who have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, and we can help you determine the best next step.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.