Sometimes when folks read that the statute of limitations on Florida personal injury and wrongful death claims is two and four years respectively, they figure they’ve got some time before they need to bother reaching out to a South Florida injury attorney. And while it is true that you technically have that time span in which to file a claim, our Naples injury lawyers know what that timeline fails to take into account is:
- The faster you act, the more likely your attorney can gather important evidence, talk to key witnesses and best preserve your case.
- In most all cases, you won’t be able to file a claim at all unless you have properly provided notice to defendants in accordance with Florida law. The timeline for notice is shorter than the statute of limitations period, and the requirements can vary depending on a host of factors.
Notice of Lawsuit Against Florida Government
Sometimes, notice of claim requirements depend on the type of agency you are accusing. For instance, F.S. 768.28 requires any claims against the state, its agencies and subdivisions, you must put BOTH the state agency involved and the state’s Department of Financial Services on notice in writing (and sent on paper, not email, which will be deemed invalid). You have three years to do this if your claim is for personal injury but only two years if your claim is for wrongful death. Furthermore, you can’t file your lawsuit until you give the defendants 180 days to do their own investigation, and it’s only upon rejection of your claim that you can finally formally file a lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice Notice of Claim
Other times, the notice of claim requirements depend on the type of tort you are alleging. For example, medical malpractice lawsuits, per F.S. 766.106, requires all defendants be put on notice after completion of the pre-suit investigation, and prior to filing a complaint. The pre-suit investigation is allowed up to 90 days, per F.S. 766.203(2), though an extension can be requested and, if necessary, the statute of limitations can be tolled. This has to be done within the two-year statute of limitations (the clock starting on the date of your cause of action) and the defendant has 30 days from the time they receive that notice in which to generate a response that either rejects the claims, rejects some of the claims and/ or offers a settlement. After receiving this, plaintiff either decides to drop it or else proceed with arbitration and litigation.
However, there might be some medical negligence litigation wherein there are exceptions. For example, if you’re alleging only a violation of nursing home resident’s rights pursuant to F.S. ch. 400, as noted in the 2011 appellate court decision in Preston v. Health Care and Retirement Corporation of America, then you don’t have to comply with the same pre-suit notice requirements.
Other Injury Claim Notice Requirements
In some instances, the notice of claim requirements depends on who YOU are.
For example, if you are an inmate and your claim is against the Florida Department of Corrections, you have just one year to file a notice of claim and only three years (rather than four in a typical personal injury case) to file a lawsuit.
If you are a worker alleging a work injury claim against your employer, F.S. 440.185, you need to report the work accident to your employer as soon as possible – but no longer than 30 days, or your claim may be denied.
Discussing all these concerns with an experienced Naples injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury is imperative to preserving your Florida injury or wrongful death claim.
Contact the South Florida personal injury attorneys at David J. Halberg, P.A., Attorneys at Law, by calling toll-free at 1-877-425-2374. Serving West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Fort Myers/ Naples. There is no fee unless you win.
F.S. 440.185, Notice of Injury or Death, Florida Statutes
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11th Circuit: Courts Must “MacGyver” Solution in Florida Birth Injury Claim, Sept. 21, 2018, Naples Injury Attorney