(This information is not meant to be a substitute for an in-depth legal opinion)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long is the Statute of Limitations in Florida for a personal injury claim...in general situations?
- If the claim is based on General Negligence causing injury without death...then a lawsuit must be filed within flour (4) years of the date of the injury.
- If the claim is based on the Wrongful Death of someone due to general negligence...a lawsuit must be filed within two (2) years of the date of death.
- If the claim is based on injury or death caused by Professional Negligence (which includes Medical Malpractice and Legal Malpractice)...then a lawsuit must be filed within two (2) years of the date you knew of or should have known of the negligence, and in no event can a lawsuit be filed more than four (4) years after the date the negligent event occurred (unless fraud occurred preventing the discovery of the malpractice).
Q: If I have a claim based on
Medical Malpractice, can we immediately file a lawsuit?
No. Florida Statutes require that we first obtain all the relevant medical records. We must hire medical providers, who are similar to the type that we plan to sue, as experts, to review the medical records and relevant information, and to make an independent determination as to whether or not there was a breach in the appropriate standard of medical care, and whether that breach caused injury. If the medical experts sign an Affidavit attesting to those facts, we then put the medical professionals we plan to sue on notice of our intent to initiate a lawsuit, by sending them the expert's Affidavits and our own letter, which then stops the two (2) year Statute of Limitations clock for ninety (90) days. These ninety (90) days are called the "pre-suit period", within which the medical providers we plan to sue are able to contact their own insurance companies, who then contact their own experts to review the same medical records and claim. If no offer is made to settle the case at the end of the ninety (90) day period, and/or the defendants deny the claim, then we are finally able to file a lawsuit.
Q: If you do not win a settlement or a trail verdict for me, will I owe you, my attorney, any money?
No. We, the attorneys, take the risk in investing time and money in developing the case. We would not do so unless we believe that your case had merit. However, not every case ends in a favorable conclusion. If we were not to win any money for you, you would not owe us any money, since we took the risk in representing you and developing your case.
Q: What kind of Damages can I claim if there was an injury or death that led to a legal claim?
- If the claim is based on personal injuries: the damages that we would request would be the past and future economic damages and the past and future non-economic damages. The economic damages consist of lost wages or loss of earning capacity, along with past and future medical bills. The non-economic damages include pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and certain things such as permanent disfigurement, inconvenience, etc.
In addition, the Spouse of the injured person has their own claim for "loss of consortium"...which means loss of the services that the injured person used to perform and/or the loss of the intimacy of their relationship.
- If the claim is based on a death: then there are certain "survivors" that are designated under the law who can make a claim for their own damages. The survivors have a claim for their pain and suffering in the loss of their relationship with the deceased. In addition, the deceased person's Estate has its own claim for the loss of net accumulations (net earnings that the person would have earned but for their death), as well as for funeral and burial expenses.