Injuries suffered in auto accidents or on dangerous premises are not always evident immediately after the incident. In fact, a victim may think any neck pain or stiffness will quickly resolve itself, but an injury caused by whiplash could result in years of chronic pain. The question will be whether he or she can file a personal injury lawsuit in a Florida civil court if pain and suffering become a long-term consequence.

Florida has a statute of limitations of four years on personal injury claims. Imagine a person suffers a whiplash injury in a crash, and the pain persists for weeks. The victim then goes to the doctor who does scans and X-rays, which shows a problem that requires surgery. Lost income and medical expenses become overwhelming, and if this happens within the four years statute of limitations, a civil lawsuit can be filed in pursuit of financial relief.

However, knowing exactly when the time starts ticking is crucial. The four years typically begins from the date upon which the injury occurred or was discovered. If the victim is a child, the statute typically starts running upon his or her 18th birthday. It must also be mentioned that these time limits vary from state to state, and someone from Florida who was injured in another state might have less time to bring a claim in a court of that state.

Resources are available for anyone in Florida regarding one’s ability to seek recovery of damages after some time had elapsed since the incident that caused an injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can examine the facts and answer questions about a potential claim. The lawyer can also represent a client’s personal interests throughout any ensuing legal proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, “When Is It Too Late to File an Injury Lawsuit?“, Christopher Coble, Accessed on May 18, 2018