The statute of limitations for a slip-and-fall accident in Florida is two years. Florida law allows anyone injured in a slip-and-fall accident to file a premises liability lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident or recognition of the injury.
Adhering to the state’s statute of limitations is crucial. If you are injured after a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, you will want to file your lawsuit timely. Failing to do this within the two-year period could mean the court will not hear your case. This means you will not be able to recover the compensation you are due for your damages.
The Statute of Limitations for Slip-and-Fall Accidents in Florida
Like all other states, Florida sets a specific statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim for a slip-and-fall accident. According to Florida Statute §95.11(a), you have two years from the date of your accident or when your injury first manifested to file a lawsuit.
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What Are Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time a person has to file a legal claim or lawsuit. Whatever the specific time period, the legal action must be filed within that frame for any remedy to come the plaintiff’s way. This applies to cases settled through insurance companies or in court. If the legal action is not filed within a timely manner, the injured party forfeits their right to compensation even if they suffered legitimate losses.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Florida
A slip-and-fall accident in Florida can happen practically anywhere. However, most of these incidents occur in places of business or at residences, which falls under the premises liability category of personal injury law. According to Florida Statute §768.0755, there are certain criteria that the injured party must prove to have a valid claim to file a lawsuit. They must also have important information such as the time limit for filing a legal claim, how long an injured person has to file a claim in Florida, what happens if you don’t file within the time limit in Florida, exceptions to that time limit and understanding comparative negligence laws in the state.
Time Limit for Filing a Legal Claim
The time limit for filing a legal claim is also known as the statute of limitations. For Florida slip-and-fall accidents resulting in injury, that time limit is two years. It’s best to file as soon as injury symptoms begin to show or immediately after receiving a diagnosis by a doctor. It gives the plaintiff a leg up on ensuring that they have a better chance of having their case heard and recovering compensation for their damages.
How Long Does an Injured Person Have to File a Claim in Florida?
In Florida, an injured person has up to two years from the date of their injury to file a claim. As a result, if you suffer an injury after a slip-and-fall accident, you have within two years of sustaining that injury to file your personal injury claim.
What Happens if You Do Not File Within the Time Limit in Florida?
If you experience a slip-and-fall accident in Florida and are left with injuries, it’s crucial to file your claim within the two-year statute of limitations. If you don’t file within that time limit, it means your case will not be heard and you will not be able to recover compensation to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages and any other damages relevant to the accident.
Exceptions to the Time Limit in Florida
There are exceptions to the time limit in Florida for filing a lawsuit after sustaining injuries after a slip-and-fall accident. One is when the person’s injury doesn’t show any symptoms for an extended period. For example, after a slip-and-fall, a senior-age woman begins to feel stiffness and pain in her neck. Initially, she thinks it’s just muscle aches but is later diagnosed with a slipped disc. In that scenario, the woman would be able to file her lawsuit after the diagnosis, even if it took a year or two.
Another situation where a person would have more time to file a lawsuit for a slip-and-fall case is if they were a minor at the time of the accident; once they reach the age of 18, they could file a claim as long as their parent or guardian did not do that.
Understanding Comparative Negligence Laws in Florida
Florida follows comparative negligence laws for personal injury. This means that even if a person is partly at fault for a slip-and-fall accident that causes injury, they can still file a lawsuit for damages. According to Florida Statute § 768.81, an injured party is still able to receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages and other damages; their percentage of fault is reduced from their settlement if the case is successful.
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Determining Liability in a Slip-and-Fall Accident in Florida
Different factors can help determine liability in a Florida slip-and-fall accident. They include the duty of care owed by property owners, the property owner’s constructive knowledge requirements and establishing defective conditions on the property.
Duty of Care Owed By Property Owners
Property owners owe a duty of care to anyone who has a legal right to visit or be on their property. They are legally obligated to ensure that both the inside and outside of their property are kept in reasonably safe condition so that slip-and-fall accidents and injuries can be avoided. The duty of care is owed to anyone who has a legal right to be on a property. In other words, this does not extend to trespassers. An injured party must also prove that the property owner was negligent to hold them liable for a slip-and-fall and subsequent injuries.
Property Owner’s Constructive Knowledge Requirements
Another important aspect of proving liability is showing that the property owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition that could cause injuries from a slip-and-fall accident. For example, if the pavement directly outside a business establishment is in disrepair and uneven, it should be an obvious trip hazard. Therefore, if a person was at the property to conduct business and fell and suffered injuries due to this pavement condition, the business owner could be held liable. This is because they should have constructive knowledge that a person could trip and fall and suffer an injury as a result.
Establishing Defective Conditions on the Property
It’s also necessary for injured parties to determine defective conditions on the property after a slip-and-fall accident. This can help prove that the property owner is liable for their medical expenses and other damages. Using the example of the uneven pavement, if the condition existed for a long time and the owner was informed of it, knowing it was hazardous but failed to get it repaired, it proves liability.
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Working with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney or Law Firm in Florida
If you become injured after a slip-and-fall accident, it’s best to work with an experienced personal injury attorney or law firm in Florida. This gives you an advantage when you choose to file a claim for damages. It’s crucial to find a qualified legal team to represent you and understand the benefits of working with an experienced attorney or law firm.
Finding a Qualified Legal Team to Represent You
Thorough research is needed to find a qualified legal team to represent you in your slip-and-fall personal injury case. Checking a law firm’s or attorney’s credentials online can help you find the right one to handle your case.
Word of mouth is another good way to find a qualified legal team to represent you. Speak with family members, friends and acquaintances to get information about good attorneys or law firms they have previously used. This is one of the best ways to get the right legal team on your side.
Benefits of Working with an Experienced Attorney or Law Firm
There are notable benefits of working with an experienced attorney or law firm. One is that if you have someone with the knowledge and experience to represent you, you have a much better chance of a successful outcome in your claim. It also allows you to focus on your healing while they handle all the red tape associated with your case. Lawyers are also objective and not personally involved, so they can expertly handle your case. Of course, with an experienced attorney or law firm on your side, you have a much better chance of getting a satisfactory settlement.
Steps to Take Following a Slip-and-Fall Accident in Florida
After suffering a slip-and-fall accident in Florida, there are certain steps you should immediately take. This includes getting medical care right away, recording details about the area where you fell, collecting supporting information, reporting the incident to the property owner or manager without delay and consulting with a qualified Florida personal injury lawyer.
Get Medical Care Right Away
Even if you feel fine after a slip-and-fall, it’s wise to seek medical attention. You might have an injury that has not manifested just yet, but you can begin to feel the effects after several days. Waiting too long to get medical care or skipping it altogether can adversely affect your personal injury claim if you later choose to file one.
Record Details About the Area Where You Fell
It’s important to record details about the area where you fell. Make note of the dangerous condition that led to your accident, the date and time and whether any witnesses were around during your slip-and-fall. If possible, note the length of time that the dangerous condition stayed in place.
Collect Supporting Information
After a slip-and-fall accident that leaves you injured, gathering evidence is crucial. You should do this immediately after your accident and continue collecting supporting information as your claim proceeds. If you’re able to manage it, snap photos of the area where the accident occurred and of your injuries if they are visibly obvious. Look for cameras that might have caught the accident as it happened. You can ask around at the establishment if camera or video footage exists.
Your medical records are a large part of your evidence. They detail your injuries and can provide a glimpse into your possible prognosis. Medical bills show how much money you’ve spent on your treatment and how much you might spend in the future for continuing care. You may even want to save the clothing you were wearing during the accident as part of your evidence. For example, if your accident caused you to badly injure your knee and your pants were torn around the area, they can show how you fell. Don’t wash your clothing; place them in a plastic bag.
Report the Incident to the Property Owner/Manager Without Delay
According to HG.org, you should report the incident to the property owner or manager without delay. This allows for an accident report to be taken immediately; ask for a copy of the report for your own records. The establishment may also have camera or video evidence or both, which you can also inquire about. Don’t procrastinate on reporting the accident; doing so can compromise your ability to have a successful claim.
Consult with a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida
You should also consult with a qualified Florida personal injury lawyer. It gives you a better chance of your claim being successful. The attorney can advise you on the best way to proceed in your personal injury case and handle all communications with the insurance company and the property owner’s lawyer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Average Payout for a Slip-and-Fall in Florida?
Payouts for slip-and-fall accidents in Florida can range anywhere from $10,000 to $850,000. However, according to Patch, there’s no true average payout; many different factors can determine whether a settlement is on the lower end or the higher end.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury in Florida 2023?
According to South Florida Caribbean News, the statute of limitations for personal injury in Florida in 2023 is two years. This means you must file your lawsuit within two years of your accident or when your injury first appeared.
What Is the Two-Year Statute of Limitations in Florida?
The two-year Florida statute of limitations refers to the amount of time an injured person has to file a legal claim or lawsuit to recover damages.
How Do You Win a Slip-and-Fall Case in Florida?
You can increase your chances of winning a slip-and-fall case in Florida if you provide sufficient evidence about your injury and how it has impacted your ability to work and your everyday life. Generally, proving that your injury has caused you economic and noneconomic damages can help you win. Filing your lawsuit early enough is also crucial in winning a slip-and-fall case. It’s also essential to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care, directly leading to your accident and injury.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Slip-and-Fall Case in Florida?
In Florida, if you have a valid claim for damages after a slip-and-fall accident, you can usually get a quick settlement. If you have enough proof of liability, the property owner or their insurance company will want to quickly settle to avoid potential issues.
How Much Are Most Slip-and-Fall Settlements?
Most slip-and-fall settlements range from $10,000 to $50,000.
How Long After an Injury Can You Sue in Florida?
You have up to two years after an injury to sue in Florida.
What Is the New Statute of Limitations in Florida?
According to the American Bar Association, the new statute of limitations in Florida for personal injury is two years. Previously, you had up to four years from the date of injury to file a claim or lawsuit.
Does Florida Pay for Pain and Suffering?
Florida pays for pain and suffering only in certain circumstances. For example, if you were left with a severe injury that requires ongoing care for the rest of your life, you would be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.
How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Fall?
You can usually get compensation ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for a fall. The circumstances of your accident could make the amount you ultimately recover higher or lower.
How Do I Get Compensation for a Slip-and-Fall?
In most cases, you can get compensation for a slip-and-fall by filing a claim with the insurance company used by the property owner.
What Is the New Tort Law in Florida 2023?
Florida’s new 2023 tort law prevents excessive damage awards in certain types of cases. One thing it does is shorten the state’s statute of limitations in half from four years to two.
Can Statute of Limitations Be Waived Florida?
Florida’s statute of limitations can only be waived in certain situations. For example, the defendant moved out of the state. This gives the plaintiff more time to file their lawsuit.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take in Florida?
Most personal injury cases in Florida take around one to three years.
How Do I Prove Negligence in Florida?
To prove negligence in Florida, you must establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, that the duty caused your accident and injuries and you suffered damages as a result of those injuries.
Average Slip-and-Fall Settlement Amounts in Florida
There are no true average slip-and-fall settlement amounts in Florida due to each case being unique.
How Long Does a Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit Take?
A slip-and-fall lawsuit can take around two to three years.